North Dakota Agriculture
Agriculture is a vital economic force in North Dakota. About 90 percent of the state’s land is used for agriculture, totaling 40 million acres devoted to farming and ranching. Additionally, 24 percent of the state’s population is employed in the agricultural sector alone. North Dakota’s sub-humid continental climate is perfect for producing livestock and small grains, helping make it a top producer of dry edible beans, navy and pinto beans, canola, flaxseed, and honey. It’s also a top producer of durum and spring wheat – when you eat spaghetti, chances are it contains North Dakota wheat. As for livestock, there are 1.7 million beef cattle, or almost three cattle for every North Dakotan.
Soils in the Peace Garden State vary, ranging from thick, black loam in the Red River Valley – some of the richest agricultural land in the world – to sandy soils in the west. The state’s motto, “Strength from the Soil,” is on the coat of arms and governor’s flag. Farmers are known for their expertise in no-till farming and protecting soil through reduced tillage practices.