In 2021, honey production in South Dakota plummeted by more than 40% compared to the year prior, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile, production in North Dakota rose by 10%, making it the foremost honey-producing state in the country.
The USDA report indicates that South Dakota’s honey production for 2021 amounted to only 9.4 million pounds, a significant drop from the prior year’s total of 15.7 million pounds. North Dakota, meanwhile, produced 44.9 million pounds of honey in 2021, a 10% increase from the 40.6 million pounds produced in 2020.
The disparity in production between the two states is likely due to the fact that North Dakota has a larger beekeeping industry and a more diverse mix of bee species, making it less susceptible to the impacts of extreme weather conditions. South Dakota, on the other hand, has a more limited beekeeping sector, which may have played a role in its decreased honey production.
The USDA report also revealed that the nationwide honey production for 2021 totaled 161 million pounds, a 4% decrease from 2020’s total of 169 million pounds. This is likely due to the fact that many beekeepers were hit hard by the pandemic, as well as by devastating weather conditions throughout the U.S.
The findings of the USDA report are particularly concerning for South Dakota, as the state’s 2021 honey production represented a precipitous drop of more than 40% from the previous year. Additionally, North Dakota’s 10% increase in production makes it the foremost honey-producing state in the nation. It remains to be seen, however, if South Dakota can regain its footing and start to experience a resurgence in honey production.