CropLife 100 Snapshot: Keeping an Eye on Grower Consolidation

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Recently for our magazine, I wrote a column looking at how consolidation has become a “thing” again in agriculture. Towards the end of 2023, many agricultural companies were busy buying up competitors or merging their operations. Primarily, this occurred at the supplier and manufacturer levels, but many ag retailers also were getting in on the game (or are planning to during the early part of 2024).

Of course, all this consolidation activity got me to thinking – is this trend taking place at the grower level? Luckily, I could easily find the answer to this question because of something CropLife magazine has done for the past four decades now.


In December 2023, we released the latest data compiled during our annual CropLife 100 survey of the nation’s top ag retailers. The 2023 report – our 40th – included a question regarding the pace of grower consolidation during the most recent calendar year. Since 2020, the majority of respondents (north of 70%) have indicated grower consolidation has remained flat year-over-year.

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However, during 2023, this level of activity started to change. And while the majority of 2023 survey respondents – 58% – still noted flatness in the area of grower consolidation in their markets, slightly over one-third (34%) did notice an uptick in this trend in their parts of the country. Only 8% of CropLife 100 ag retailers in the 2023 survey said grower consolidation had slowed among their customers.

In which sector do you expect the most consolidation in 2024?

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In truth, consolidation as a major trend for agriculture is nothing new. In fact, in our December 2023 report, consolidation was named as the No. 4 most significant trend to impact the ag retail marketplace over the past 40 years by survey respondents. And according to today’s survey respondents, the impact of this trend won’t diminish anytime soon.

“Industry consolidation is the issue, from the grower-customer on up,” wrote Lance Whitney, CFO at Land View, Rupert, ID, on his company’s 2023 CropLife 100 form. “This is due to increased competition and technology, along with forever changing markets and shrinking farmable acres.”