Agriculture By The Numbers


Agriculture by the Numbers is a monthly publication on current issues facing the region’s agricultural economy edited by Bryon Parman, Agricultural Finance Specialist with NDSU Extension.

Are you interested in why the cattle markets are high right now? What’s happening with the wheat markets? What are Energy Tax Credits? What is the Livestock Forage Program (LFP) and am I eligible?

These are just a few of the topics you can find in the monthly publication  Agriculture by the Numbers found online at:


Here are a few opening paragraphs from recent articles. If they spark your interest check them out online.


Understanding the complexities of the World Wheat Market

The U.S. wheat market is complex with many interactions and nuances. This makes understanding the dynamics of the spring wheat market and developing a marketing plan tricky.

First, the U.S. has six different classes of wheat: hard red winter, hard red spring, soft red winter, durum, hard white, and soft white wheat. In addition, the domestic wheat milling and baking industries have become very sophisticated with their procurement strategies and quality specifications. There is limited substitution between these classes, depending on the type of flour, bread product being made, and the quality characteristics of the final product.

The world wheat market is no less complicated. Every major wheat-exporting country uses a slightly different wheat classification and grading system. For example, a U.S. No. 1 Dark Northern Spring wheat has slightly different characteristics than a Canadian No. 1 Canadian Western Spring wheat. While these differences are relatively minor, there are differences. A U.S. No. 1 Hard Red Winter wheat has slightly different characteristics than an Australian Prime Hard wheat.


12 ND Counties Now Eligible for Livestock Forage Program (LFP)

As of September 21, 2003, 12 North Dakota counties are eligible for Livestock Forage Program (LFP) payments. Eight counties are eligible for four LFP payments, and four counties are eligible for one LFP payment.

The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) offers payments to eligible livestock producers with eligible livestock. Producers also must have grazed forage crop acreage. The payments help producers with grazing losses suffered on native or improved pastureland due to a qualifying drought. This can be land with eligible permanent or planted grazing cover.


Tax Tips for Retirement Plans


The SECURE Act 2.0 became law late last year. It enhances tax-saving benefits and adds new benefits for retirement plans. The SECURE Act 2.0 changes go into effect in 2024

401(k) Plans: 401(k) plans are salary reduction contributions made on a pre-tax basis. Your employer may also make matching contributions based on compensation.

SIMPLE Plans: The SIMPLE plan (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees) is much the same as a 401(k) account. Contributions are made on a pre-tax basis and distributions are taxed at ordinary income tax rates. The plan is available for businesses with no more the 100 employees and the self-employed.

IRAs: IRAs (Individual Retirement Plans) can be used as a supplement to an employer-provided plan or as an alternative. Contributions may be all or partially tax-deductible depending on the situation. Amounts withdrawn are taxed as ordinary income. The annual contribution limit for IRAs is $6,500 for 2023 and is indexed for inflation.