Editorial: Farming remains key to N.D. economyNorth Dakota has been taking advantage of global economic models, as have companies in Japan.
By: The Bismarck Tribune, The Jamestown Sun
North Dakota has been taking advantage of global economic models, as have companies in Japan.
A Japanese company, Mitsui, is building a shuttle elevator in Bucyrus. The elevator will be in service for next year’s grain harvest.
The elevator will give area producers another option for selling grain in the region. It will allow Mitsui — doing business as its subsidiary, United Grain Corp. — to bypass the middleman and buy its own hard red spring wheat and other grains direct from the farm. For Japan, this venture improves its food security.
The Bucyrus project isn’t the first Japanese venture into the state. Another Japanese corporation, Marubeni, either owns outright or partially owns seven elevators east and north of the Missouri River.
Mitsui owns an elevator in Pompey’s Pillar, Mont., and is building elevators at two other Montana locations, Conrad and Culbertson.
While Japan is the only country to own grain elevators in North Dakota, it’s part of a trend by other countries to invest overseas.
North Dakota Wheat Commission officials say competition is healthy. And they are right.
North Dakotans are becoming involved in overseas ventures. Farm equipment manufactured in the state is sold around the world. There’s a long list of specialty crops grown here for export. And we are even flying cattle to other countries.
The fact that the Japanese are coming to a little town in Adams County shows how small the world is becoming, and it reflects the nature of global markets and trading.
The elevator project brings money into the community while it’s under construction. Once done, it will provide jobs and, most importantly, secure access to the Japanese market, where demand for North Dakota grain is strong. Estimates are that North Dakota exports 24 million bushels of wheat to Japan each year, about 40 percent of the wheat sold to that country by U.S. exporters.
Mitsui building a shuttle elevator at Bucyrus reminds this state’s citizens that despite the importance of energy development in the state, farming remains central to North Dakota’s long-term economy.
Jim Peterson, head of marketing for the North Dakota Wheat Commission, said, “We don’t view this as a threat, but as added competition and better prices.”