In this article we are going to list the Top 10 largest agricultural companies by revenue in the US. Click to skip ahead and jump to the Top 5 largest agricultural companies by revenue in the US.
Agriculture is one of the most important industries in the world, and this cannot be understated at all. While it may not be the primary industry in the world as it used to be not very long and had been for thousands of years, it is still absolutely integral to the world and its population.
According to the World Bank, development in agriculture is one of the most important tools we have to end extreme poverty while providing at least the basic nutrition to an ever-growing global population which is expected to reach nearly 9.7 billion by 2050. You might be wondering how this can be, but the truth is, growth in the agricultural sector is said to be around two to four times more effective than similar growth in any other sector. This does make sense though when you consider the fact that around 65% of people who earn a poor income are engaged in the agricultural sector. Therefore, improving growth and income in the sector will have a significant effect on the overall median income in the world.
While globally agriculture accounts for around 4% of the total global GDP, that is because many developed countries have a lower focus on agriculture and more on other sectors. For developing countries, especially those with really large populations agriculture can often account for up to a quarter of the total GDP, which is absolutely immense.
However, the agriculture sector has never been in more peril than it is now, with climate change being the primary factor. As the world has completely failed to deal with the sources of climate change, even though action been taken (which has been underwhelming), the weather patterns are changing drastically which is greatly affecting the yield and growth of crops. This is even more true for low income countries which don't have the technology to protect their crops, and are more susceptible to the effects of climate change as well. In fact agriculture, forestry and land use change have account for around 25% of all the greenhouse gas emissions and hence, introducing sustainability in this sector is needed to mitigate the effects of climate change.
There are other issues plaguing the agriculture sector as well, which are proving to be completely unsustainable. Agriculture accounts for around 70% of the total water usage while also generating waste and pollution at unprecedented levels, because most countries still use old methods for agriculture which aren't efficient, while the supply chain in the sector is also not even close to being optimal; a third of all food production goes to waste, which is heartbreaking in a world where nearly 700 million people are hungry, an increase of 60 million in just 5 years. This lack of availability of proper nutrition leads to poor diets which can causes diseases and illnesses, to the point that poor diet and its risks are the biggest cause of death globally. In fact, not having the proper nutrition doesn't just result in starvation; some poor countries stack up on fats and unhealthy food, which is why you'll see many poor countries among the 25 most obese countries in the world.
While the US has moved mostly from agriculture to industry, the sector is still significant, and agriculture, food and industries related to this sector contribute around $1.1 trillion to the GPD, making a 5.2% share. This is in line with what we already discussed regarding agriculture contribution to GDP in most developed countries. The farms alone contributed around $136 billion, or 0.6% of GDP. Of course, this is just the direct contribution; many major industries rely on the output of these farms for their own production and supply, such as the food and beverage manufacturing beverages, food services, restaurants, textiles, forestry, fishing and leather among many others. The industry creates around 22 million jobs for Americans which is around 11% of the total employment in the US. On farm employment numbers are around 2.6 million people, which is 1.3% of the total employees in the US. Indirectly, the sector supports an additional 19.6 million jobs, so directly or indirectly more than 41 million employees are related to the agricultural sector.
There is little more important than food and in the US, after housing and transportation, the biggest expense most households incurred was on food, with 13% of income being spent on food. Corn is the biggest crop grown in the US, with over $50 billion worth of corn being produced in 2014, followed by soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. The country is also the largest producer of maize in the world, producing around 392 million tons, and has been the leader for this crop for many decades with no one even coming close to the production of the US. It is also the second largest producer of both apples and strawberries in the world, being second only to China.
The largest agricultural companies companies in the US by revenue include a mix of both private and public companies. To determine the list, we took a look at around 120 companies in the US that are part of the agricultural sector and then determined the revenue of each company, either referring to Forbes, Fortune or even the annual reports of the public companies. We also took a look at the main fertilizer companies in the US because of course, fertilizer companies are also part of the agriculture industry, and some of these companies are also among the largest agricultural companies in the US by revenue. These companies earn billions in revenue each year while the biggest agricultural company in the US has a revenue of over $100 billion. Even the lowest company in this list earns over $4 billion in revenue. You can also compare them to the top agribusiness companies in the world. So let's take a look at these ten companies alone provide employment to hundreds of thousands of people (if not more than a million) and are absolutely crucial to the continued growth and sustenance of the agricultural sector in the US, starting with number 10:
10. Fresh Del Monte Produce (NYSE:FDP)
Total revenue of the company in 2019 (in millions of dollars): 4,489
Fresh Del Monte Produce was founded in 1886 and is engaged in producing fruits and vegetables in addition to snacks, beverages and juices.
9. Dole Food Company
Total revenue of the company in 2019 (in millions of dollars): 4,566
Dole Food Company is famous for being the biggest food and vegetable producer not just in the US, but in the world and has nearly 75,000 employees in 90 countries responsible for around 300 different products. It is involved in the production of pineapples, strawberries, grapes and bananas, and is around 169 years old.
8. CF Industries Holding (NYSE:CF)
Total revenue of the company in 2019 (in millions of dollars): 4,600
The 56 year old company is the second biggest fertilizer manufacturer in the country, and manufactures and distributes agriculture fertilizers.
7. Seaboard Corporation (NYSEAMERICAN: SEB)
Total revenue of the company in 2019 (in millions of dollars): 5,523
While Seaboard's actual revenues are much higher than $5.5 billion, we have only considered their earnings from their pork business and from its commodity trading and milling interests, because only these two branches of the company have a direct or indirect relation to agriculture.
6. Pioneer Hi-Bred International
Total revenue of the company in 2019 (in millions of dollars): 6,300
It is involved in the production of seeds to be used in agriculture, and have significant involvement in the production of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which themselves have attracted a lot of controversy. It is a subsidiary of Corteva Agriscience.
Click to continue reading and see the Top 5 largest agricultural companies by revenue in the US. Disclosure: No positions. Top 10 largest agricultural companies by revenue in the US is originally published on Insider Monkey.