Urban Effects

To date the effects of the seeding program on urban areas have not been quantified. This is an area that certainly deserves more attention from the evaluation standpoint, but no existing datasets have been identified that may elucidate these effects. Yet, some statements may be made in this regard.

First, the North Dakota economy remains largely agriculture-based. When harvest is bountiful, the rural dollars are spent in the cities. This translates into sales of automobiles, trucks, farm implements, appliances, and so forth. Considerable additional tax revenue is also generated for the state and counties, which eases pressure on the urban areas. Many have noted that "As goes agriculture, so goes North Dakota."

However, the above impacts are all secondary. The primary impact on urban areas comes in the same form as it does to rural areas--less hail, and therefore less hail damage. Fewer roofs to be replaced, fewer dents to be repaired in motor vehicles, fewer gardens turned to mush. The damage caused by a single severe hail storm passing over a city or town can easily exceed millions of dollars (e.g. Bismarck, 2001 - $230 million, 2005 - nearly $100 million), where payment of insurance deductibles alone removes millions of dollars from the local economy and damage claims drive up premiums. Increased rainfall also has a positive impact, reducing the amount a water (from city water supplies) that must be used on lawns and gardens.