The purpose of this study was to measure the economic contribution of the wheat industry to the North Dakota economy. Wheat is produced in all areas of the state; however, production is concentrated in the Red River Valley and in the northern third of the state. Wheat production (spring, durum, and winter wheat) in North Dakota averaged about 9.1 million planted acres and 275 million bushels annually from 2001 through 2003. Direct impacts (in-state expenditures and returns) from wheat production averaged $126.50 per acre or $1.14 billion annually from 2001 through 2003. Direct impacts from handling wheat at North Dakota elevators were estimated at $32 million annually. Transportation of wheat to both in-state and out-of-state destinations was estimated to generate $73 million annually in direct impacts. Annual direct impacts from wheat processing (milling activities) were estimated at $100 million. When secondary economic impacts were included, the wheat industry was estimated to have a gross business volume of $3.56 billion annually from 2001 through 2003. Wheat industry activities also supported over 35,000 full-time secondary jobs and generated $126 million in combined property tax, sales tax, individual income tax, and corporate income tax collections in North Dakota. Due primarily to reduced grain volume, current economic impacts from wheat production, grain handling, and transportation activities decreased from levels in 1991 through 1993. However, impacts from wheat processing increased by 121 percent in real terms between the two periods. Overall, the economic size of the wheat industry in North Dakota declined 33 percent from 1991 through 1993 to 2001 through 2003. Despite recent reductions in wheat acreage and production, the wheat industry in North Dakota remains one of the most important economic activities in the state, agricultural or otherwise.


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