It’s official. Consumers in South Dakota count on agriculture and producers to support the economy, keep pumping out ethanol and protect the environment. This confirmation is thanks to a recent survey of consumer views on South Dakota agriculture conducted with funding from the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council (SDCUC).
"As South Dakota producers, we’ve always known we have the support of our urban peers, but what this survey did was prove just how strong South Dakota consumers stand behind agriculture, farmers and ethanol in this state,” said David Fremark, president of the SDCUC and a corn and livestock producer from St. Lawrence, S.D.
The study, which was completed in June, surveyed 405 registered voters with characteristics representative of the South Dakota population, but not including those engaged in the agriculture industry.
The results provide insights into several main issues, including consumer attitudes on food prices, the environment, ethanol usage and higher blends, and the impact of agriculture on the economy.
Some of the key findings from the study include:
- 64 percent of respondents believe agriculture drives the economy, because South Dakota is an agriculture state
- 42 percent of respondents feel oil costs are driving up food prices
- 45 percent of respondents felt the farmer has a positive impact on the environment
- 89 percent of respondents feel ethanol is important to South Dakota’s economy
- 76 percent of respondents currently use ethanol
- 57 percent of respondents would use higher blends (such as E-15 or E-30)
- Over 50 percent of respondents would favor a proposal requiring that regular gasoline contain at least 10 percent ethanol
Clearly, South Dakota consumers:
- Know that agriculture is a main driver of our state’s economy.
- Use ethanol blended fuels in their vehicles.
- Believe higher grades of ethanol should be available.
- Support a mandatory 10 percent ethanol blend requirement.
- Believe farmers care about the environment.
“South Dakota consumers get it. In this state, people in urban areas understand the importance and role of production agriculture. Not one participant of the survey believed rising food prices had anything to do with agriculture production. And South Dakota citizens are overwhelmingly convinced that the state’s economy depends highly on the success of agriculture,” said Fremark.
"On behalf of agriculture producers from across our state, we thank South Dakotans for their confidence and support of our industry,” said Fremark. “It strengthens our resolve to work harder than ever to maintain that respect and continue to exceed expectations year after year by protecting our environment and growing enough products to feed and fuel the world.”