The purpose of this report is to assess the role of agriculture in the North Dakota economy. This analysis is both statewide and regional in perspective (data are provided for each of the state's eight planning regions). Key indicators used in the analysis include sales for final demand (i.e., sales to out-of-state markets), gross business volume (gross receipts), gross state product (value added), and direct employment for each economic sector. The analysis reveals that, although its role in the North Dakota economy has been reduced in a relative sense, agriculture remains a cornerstone of the state economy and remains the largest goods and services exporting sector. While agriculture accounts for smaller shares of state sales for final demand, gross business volume, and gross state product than was the case 10 or 20 years ago, the decrease in agriculture's relative importance in most cases merely signifies that other sectors (e.g., manufacturing) have grown more rapidly. Thus, agriculture's decreasing share of sales for final demand or gross state product to a large extent reflects the success of long-term efforts to diversify the North Dakota economy. The agriculture sector has contributed to North Dakota's economic growth and diversification by serving as a source of commodities for further value-added processing (e.g., durum, potatoes) and as a market for farm input manufacturers. Manufacturing has been the largest single source of growth in gross state product over the past two decades, and both farm input manufacturing (part of durable goods manufacturing) and food processing (part of nondurable goods manufacturing) have been substantial sources of that growth. The importance of agriculture to North Dakota's economy can be highlighted: -Agriculture accounts for one-fourth of basic economic activity and almost 36 percent of all exports of goods and services -Agriculture directly employs almost 11 percent of the state's workers and generates more than $6 billion in business activity (gross receipts) -North Dakota ranks second in the nation in the percentage of gross state product derived from agriculture


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