Cass County ranks as the No. 1 soybean-producing county in the nation by bushels harvested and acres planted in 2017. In addition, North Dakota ranks No. 4 in the U.S. in total soybean acres planted and harvested. Soybeans brought the state $2.3 billion in annual cash receipts.
Wheat is produced in all 53 counties in North Dakota, and approximately 19,200 farms across the state grow wheat. By class, 74 percent grow spring, 25 percent raise durum and 1 percent raise winter wheat. Wheat brought in $1.6 billion in annual cash receipts.
WHAT ARE CASH RECEIPTS? Defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, cash receipts refer to the total amount of crops or livestock sold in a calendar year.
In 2016, North Dakota farmers grew 517 million bushels of corn on 3.3 million acres and harvested an average of 158 bushels per acre. Corn generated $1.2 billion in annual cash receipts.
4. Cattle & Calves
Beef cattle are raised in every North Dakota county, and there are about 1.86 million beef cattle and calves across the state – that’s more than two cattle for every person in North Dakota. Cattle and calves brought the state $893.6 million in annual cash receipts.
North Dakota produces enough canola oil every year to fill the state capitol’s 19-story tower 19 times. In 2017, the state’s farmers harvested more than 1.5 million acres of canola, which resulted in a production value of nearly $445 million. Canola brought in $383.1 million in annual cash receipts.
FARM FACT: Canola, prized for its seeds that have high oil content, is in the same family as mustard, broccoli and cauliflower.
6. Sugar Beets
North Dakota farmers harvested 212,000 acres of sugar beets and produced more than 6.4 million tons of the crop in 2017. Sugar beets generated $275.6 million in annual cash receipts.
Two of the most popular potato varieties for the U.S. fresh market were bred at North Dakota State University by Dr. Bob Johansen. The two varieties are the Red Norland and the Russet Norkotah. Potatoes brought the state $241.3 million in annual cash receipts.
8. Dry Beans
North Dakota is the top producer of dry beans in the U.S., producing 35 percent of the nation’s dry beans in 2017. The state has retained its position as the No. 1 producer of dry beans in the U.S. since 1991. Dry beans brought in $233.5 million in annual cash receipts.
In 2017, North Dakota produced about 24.89 million bushels of barley. The state accounts for approximately 25 percent of area planted with barley in the U.S. Barley generated $231.1 million in annual cash receipts.
North Dakota is one of the leading producers of sunflowers in the nation, and sunflowers are one of the state’s major exports. Sunflowers brought the state $190.6 million in annual cash receipts.
FARM FACT: Light in taste and noted for its health benefits, sunflower oil supplies more vitamin E than any other vegetable oil.