Midwest agriculture industry stronger now than it has been in recent years, experts say

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — The coronavirus pandemic has impacted every industry in one way or another. Agriculture is no exception.

Even so, some experts say producers in North Dakota and Minnesota are doing better now than they were at this time last year.

“We had strong commodity prices toward the end of 2020, and they’ve persisted into 2021. That’s certainly helping, especially with our crop producers on the livestock side,” said NDSU Assistant Professor and Ag Finance Specialist Dr. Bryon Parman at Tuesday’s discussion hosted by The Chamber.

Parman said the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and big commodity price rallies have been key advantages.

“We’re in a pretty strong position and if this persists, we could see a bit of recovery of what was lost overall in terms of wealth and income the past three years,” he added.

Drew Combs with the North Dakota Trade Office said he gets calls from people around the world wanting products specifically from North Dakota farms.

He says machinery, commodities and ag tech are all in demand, with Fargo’s Grand Farm Initiative to accelerate farm technology often taking the spotlight. “Believe me, people around the world know about it, they want to talk about it, and they want to see it,” he said.

Combs said our farms have the ability to put food on the tables of many.

“The world’s a hungry place, and we produce way more than we consume, so the world’s looking at places like the upper Midwest and North Dakota and Minnesota to fill in the gaps,” he added.

“I would say overall, we’re a lot stronger than we were the last few years and I’m fairly optimistic that things are going to remain strong for the foreseeable future,” concluded Parman.

There are roughly 26,000 farms and nearly 40 million acres of farmland across North Dakota.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, Minnesota News, North Dakota News