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South Dakota Economy


Livestock and livestock products are the most important agricultural products produced in the state.

In terms of revenue generated South Dakota's top five agricultural products are cattle and calves, corn for grain, soybeans, wheat, and hogs.


South Dakota is a leading beef cattle (#7), hogs, lambs, sheep and wool producing state. Beef cattle comprise 34% of the state's total agricultural receipts and 4% of the nations cattle production.

Chickens, eggs, geese and turkeys are also raised in South Dakota. Milk is also an important source of agricultural income.


Leading South Dakota crops are corn for grain, soybeans and wheat.

South Dakota is a leading producer of spring wheat, flaxseed, hay, oats, rye and sunflower seeds.

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Manufacturers add value to raw products by creating manufactured items. For example, cotton cloth becomes more valuable than a boll of cotton through manufacturing processes.

Leading manufactured products in the state are computer and computer components. A large computer company is located in South Dakota.

Ranking second in the manufacturing category is food processing (meat processing and packing, poultry processing, dairy processing, milling flour, livestock feed).

Machinery (agricultural and construction equipment), transportation equipment (truck trailers, motor vehicle parts), and fabricated metal products (architectural and structural metal) are also produced in the state.


Granite, clays, limestone, crushed stone, sand and gravel and petroleum are South Dakota's most important mined products.

Other mined products are gypsum and natural gas.

Until the Homestake Mine in Lead was closed in 2001, South Dakota was a leading producer of gold. Gold mining activity still exists in the state but on a minor scale.


The finance, insurance and real estate industry is the most valuable industry group in South Dakota. Several large financial companies have operations located in the state.

Ranking second is the community, business and personal services group. Private health care, law firms, motels and repair shops are sources of income in this sector.

Wholesale trade (groceries, farm products) and retail trade (automobile dealerships, discount stores, food stores, restaurants) is the third-ranking industry group in South Dakota.

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