Brief Excerpt from Industry Overview Chapter:
Farms in this industry grow field corn, wheat, or rice crops and seeds. No major companies dominate the industry.
Global revenue from corn, wheat, and rice production is about $460 billion annually, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The US is the largest cultivator of corn, the world's most-produced crop. India and China are the largest wheat producers. China is also the leading producer of rice. Demand for grain crops is expected to grow in developing countries, where populations are increasing rapidly.
The US grain farming industry includes about 500,000 farms with combined annual grain revenue of about $70 billion.
Producers of sweet corn, a vegetable, are included in the Vegetable & Melon Farming industry profile.
Demand is driven by government policies and consumer trends in eating grains, meat, and corn-based sweeteners, such as high-fructose corn syrup. The profitability of individual companies depends on maximizing crop yield and minimizing disease risk. Large companies have advantages in highly mechanized operations and access to the latest in genetically modified (GM) grains. Small operations can compete by specializing in organic or non-GM grains.
Grain farms compete against oilseed and vegetable crops for farm acreage, as farmers tend to plant and harvest crops with the highest yield and payout. Field corn competes against crushed oilseed as a livestock food source.
The US is a net exporter of grains. About 10% of all US corn production is shipped for export....
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