Companies in this industry grow crops such as grain, oilseeds, tobacco, dry beans, potatoes, vegetables and melons, fruits and nuts, and floriculture. Major companies include Amaggi Exportação e Importação, Chiquita Brands International, Dole Food Company, Fresh Del Monte Produce, Sunkist Growers, and Total Produce.
Global crop production revenue exceeds $1 trillion. Sugarcane, corn, rice and wheat are the most highly produced crops by volume. The US and China are among the top crop producers.
The US crop production industry includes about 1.2 million farms with combined annual revenue of about $195 billion.
Demand is driven by federal agricultural policy programs, food consumption trends, and the grain and oilseed export market. The profitability of individual companies depends on maximizing crop yield and minimizing disease risk. Large companies have advantages in highly automated technologies and access to the latest in seed and crop technologies. Small operations can compete effectively by harvesting heirloom, non-genetically modified (GM), or specialty products.
Crop exports, mainly oilseeds and grains, account for about 35% of US production. China, Mexico, and Japan are the top grain export markets. China is the largest importer of US oilseed and grain, accounting for about 35% of all US oilseed and grain exports. Crop imports account for about 20% of the US market. The US imports more vegetables, melons, fruits, and nuts than it exports.
The rapid expansion of corn-based ethanol production may slow the US grain export market. Long-term, the USDA...