7 Revenue Trends Impacting Ag Retail’s Top 100

People love lists. From David Letterman to Schindler, we have long used them for urgent matters of comedy and beyond. Yet some of my colleagues needle me about my penchant for writing this way. My rebuttal? Lists are just how I combat my own amnesia and the chaos of the Information Age. It’s also often considered the laziest form of writing, which is perfect for me.

Love them or hate them, informational posts presented in list format are easily digestible, and allow for an efficient transfer of knowledge to the reader. That at least partially explains why “20 Best Mobile Apps For Agriculture,” written by yours truly, and “CropLife 100” were the top two most-viewed pages on CropLife.com in 2011.

Speaking of the CropLife 100 list, this annual ranking of the top 100 largest ag retailers is now a fully sortable database at CropLife.com/top100. Users can select various revenue ranges and crop inputs to filter the sales data to their liking. You can also check out top 100 rankings dating back to 2007 to quickly formulate some trends impacting these large operations over the past five years. Here are seven interesting revenue trends I recently found by manipulating the data. I offer them in list format, of course.

  1. Fertilizer sales revenue on the rise. More than 70% of the CropLife 100 companies reported at least half of their overall revenue was from fertilizer sales, up about 5% from 2007. Taking it a step further, nearly 20 top 100 retailers said that 70% or more of their revenue was from this crop input.
  2. Crop protection revenue on the decline. In 2007, 16 members of the top 100 had at least 50% of its revenue from crop protection products. In 2011, only 11 ag retailers on the CropLife 100 had more than half of its revenue from this input. Just two companies — T H Agri-Chemicals (No. 88) and Asmus Farm Supply, Inc. (No. 71) — reported more than 90% of sales revenues from crop protection products.
  3. Seed revenue increasing steadily. Led by East Kansas Chemical Co. (No. 70), Wellsville, KS, with 44% of its revenue from seed, more ag retailers (85%) generated revenue from seed in 2011. This is up slightly from 2007, when 83% indicated they had at least some revenue from this crop input.
  4. Overall revenue trending upward. In 2007, only 16 companies reported revenue of $100 million or greater. In 2011, that number has nearly doubled with 31 retailers at $100 million in revenue. The “more than $1 billion” sales revenue club also added a new member this year. CHS (No. 6) joins Agrium U.S. Retail (No. 1), Helena Chemical Co. (No. 2), GROWMARK, Inc. (No. 3), Wilbur-Ellis Co. (No. 4), and J.R. Simplot (No. 5) to form the Big 6 of the CropLife 100.
  5. Services more prominent among smaller ag retailers. Of the top 10 companies that have the highest revenue percentage from services (e.g., custom application) in 2011, none of them were ranked inside the top 20 overall. Delta Growers Association (No. 67) topped this list with 42% of its sales revenues generated through services.
  6. Fewer smaller players in ag retail’s top 100. In 2007, 34 companies landed in our CropLife 100 survey’s lowest revenue range — less than $25 million. In 2011, that number dropped to 15 companies, with ongoing industry consolidation being a prime contributor to this trend.
  7. Revenue lacking balance. In 2011, only a handful of companies in the top 100 had nearly a 50/50 revenue split between the two major crop inputs — fertilizer and crop protection. Companies doing their best not to put all their revenue eggs in one basket include: Big Valley Ag (No. 81), Buttonwillow Warehouse Co. (No. 22), Fertizona (No. 39), Foster-Gardner, Inc. (No.100), Helena Chemical Co. (No. 2), Jimmy Sanders, Inc. (No. 8), Lyman Group, Inc. (No. 59), Mid Valley Ag Service, Inc. (No. 31), Watonwan Farm Service (No. 41), and Wilbur-Ellis (No. 4).

To view more trends and check out the latest rankings of the top 100 ag retailers, visit www.croplife.com/top100.

Leave a Reply

Matt Hopkins Stories

Farmers on Tablet
Matt Hopkins6 Mobile App Trends Worth Watching In Agriculture
May 9, 2016
The agricultural industry is being transformed by the use of data. It is everywhere, and over the next several years, Read More
Social media
Matt Hopkins7 Social Media Trends Shaping Ag Retail In 2016
April 22, 2016
After writing my last column on why social media is a must for ag retailers, I heard from several readers Read More
Farmer on social media
Matt Hopkins6 Compelling Reasons Why Social Media Is A Must For Ag Retailers
March 17, 2016
The evolution and growth of social media use among ag retailers since 2010 has been nothing less than astonishing. In Read More
Wheat Growers
Matt Hopkins16 Most Diversified Ag Retailers In 2016
January 8, 2016
Diversification. It’s the battle cry for financial planners everywhere. Many will preach that spreading your investments across market sectors, industries, and Read More
Trending Articles
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Crop InputsReport: Bayer Eyeing Monsanto For Possible Mega-Merger
May 16, 2016
Bayer AG is exploring a potential bid for U.S. competitor Monsanto Co. in a deal that would create the world’s Read More
Aerial Drone
Precision AgA Deeper Dive Into The Future Of Precision Ag
May 9, 2016
For about two decades now, through the good and the bad times, the ups and the downs inherent in agriculture, Read More
Palmer amaranth in soybean stubble
HerbicidesWSSA: Billions In Potential Economic Losses From Uncontrolled Weeds
May 4, 2016
What losses would corn and soybean growers experience if they were forced to eliminate herbicides and other control techniques from Read More
Eric SfiligojReasons For Hope In Commodity Prices
May 2, 2016
For many months now, the doomsayers have ruled the day in agriculture. Too much supply with too little demand would Read More
Eric SfiligojMissing The Family Ties In Agriculture
April 25, 2016
By its nature, the agriculture market is cyclical. Up and down cycles come and go with a regular pattern. For Read More
Latest News
ManagementAgriculture 3.5: A Bumpy Road Ahead
May 24, 2016
You may have read my article a few years ago on Agriculture 3.0, which is a term I coined to Read More
Topcon’s X30 display with CropSpec sensors
EquipmentGPS Autosteer Systems: Product Updates From Precision A…
May 24, 2016
Throughout 2015 GPS Steering solutions continued to evolve from what was once an after-market add on, to today’s cab where Read More
Trimble TMX-2050 In-Cab Display
Eric SfiligojThe Precision Ag Revolution Continues
May 24, 2016
It’s funny how much “the first time” tends to mean to someone as they get older. I sometimes can’t recall Read More
Eric Wintemute, AMVAC
Precision AgAMVAC Ups The Ante With New Precision Ag Technology
May 24, 2016
A potentially industry-changing at-plant soil treatment system from American Vanguard Corp., or AMVAC, is coming soon to large growers in Read More
Dry and Liquid Plant
CropLife 100CropLife 100 Map
May 24, 2016
The new CropLife 100 map shows the locations of each of the headquarters of the 2015 CropLife 100 retailers. The interactive Read More
Southern States Cooperative
Corn Field
Industry NewsTiger-Sul Names Veteran Account Manager To Lead Central…
May 23, 2016
With the continuing growth of the sulphur bentonite and precision crop nutrient industry, global agriculture firm H.J. Baker has announced that Read More
Bayer sign
Industry NewsReuters: Bayer Defies Critics With $62 Billion Monsanto…
May 23, 2016
German drugs and crop chemicals group Bayer has offered to buy U.S. seeds company Monsanto for $62 billion in cash, Read More
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Industry NewsCompass Minerals Hires Industry Veteran To Lead Plant N…
May 19, 2016
Compass Minerals has hired plant nutrition industry veteran Vatren Jurin to steer the company’s portfolio expansion into specialty liquid micronutrient Read More
ASMARK Retailers LIVE! Tour 2016 Group shot The Andersons
CropLife 100The Andersons Rejects Unsolicited Proposal From HC2
May 19, 2016
The Andersons, Inc. has announced that its Board of Directors has rejected two non-binding, highly conditional, unsolicited proposals from HC2 Read More
glyphosate
Crop InputsWHO: Glyphosate ‘Unlikely’ To Cause Cancer
May 16, 2016
Via Reuters.com reporter Kate Kelland: The weed-killing pesticide glyphosate, made by Monsanto and widely used in agriculture and by gardeners, Read More
dicamba, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend
Crop InputsASA: No Dicamba On Roundup Ready 2 Xtend In 2016
May 16, 2016
While Roundup Ready 2 Xtend (RR2X) are tolerant to dicamba and glyphosate herbicides, no dicamba herbicides will be approved for Read More
CPP, glyphosate, dicamba, atrazine,
Crop InputsReport: Congress Pressing EPA On Glyphosate Review Hand…
May 16, 2016
Via Reuters.com reporter P.J. Huffstutter: U.S. lawmakers have asked EPA to explain why it published – and then withdrew – Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Crop InputsReport: Bayer Eyeing Monsanto For Possible Mega-Merger
May 16, 2016
Bayer AG is exploring a potential bid for U.S. competitor Monsanto Co. in a deal that would create the world’s Read More
ManagementAsmark Institute Tour Observations
May 12, 2016
Special Guest CropLife Field Editor Matthew Grassi discusses his week-long visit with 45 ag retailers as part of the Asmark Read More
MicronutrientsCompass Minerals Expands Trial Work For Wolf Trax Innov…
May 12, 2016
Fertilizer manufacturer Compass Minerals continues to expand the evaluation program for its Wolf Trax micronutrient fertilizer products, according to a Read More
Young Corn Closeup
Industry NewsArysta Adds To Marketing Team
May 12, 2016
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the addition of David Davies to its marketing team. As marketing manager, Davies will Read More