Farm Supplies Wholesalers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 5,000 farm supplies wholesalers in the US purchase animal feeds and additives, fertilizers, agricultural chemicals, pesticides, plant seeds and bulbs in bulk and resell them to customers in smaller volumes. Primary customers include farms, other distributors, farm and garden supply retailers, nurseries and greenhouses, and landscaping businesses.

Weather Effects Demand

The agricultural products that customers purchase can change based on the weather conditions in their area.

Farms Consolidate, Specialize

Almost 60% of farm production now comes from farms with $1 million or more in annual sales, up from 31% in the early 1990s.

Industry size & Structure

A typical farm supplies wholesaler operates out of 1-2 locations, employs less than 20 workers, and generates $28 million annually.

    • The farm supplies wholesaler industry consists of about 5,000 companies that employ 116,800 workers and generate $140 billion annually.
    • The industry is somewhat concentrated with the 20 largest firms representing 50% of industry revenue.
    • Large domestic companies include Southern States (VA), Central Farm Supply (KY), Coastal Agriculture Supply (TX), and Heartland Ag (IL).
                                Industry Forecast
                                Farm Supplies Wholesalers Industry Growth
                                Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                Recent Developments

                                Mar 23, 2023 - Rise in Rural Migration
                                • Demand for farm supplies and equipment is poised to rise as more Americans move to rural areas, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) reported in February. Since 2011, fewer people have been moving out of rural areas and more people have been moving in, according to the USDA’s Economic Research Service. And the pandemic and rise in remote work have further fueled migration to rural areas. A survey conducted by Paulsen, a South Dakota-based marketing agency that focuses on agricultural, manufacturing and rural lifestyle industries, found that approximately 56% of respondents expect that they will own 1-5 acres when they move, 32% expect a large backyard or property under an acre, and 12% plan to own more than 5 acres. As a result, equipment needs are rising and people say they expect to purchase more equipment if they move to a rural area.
                                • The flight from cities to rural areas is driving revenue and store growth at retailer Tractor Supply Company (TSC), Motley Fool reports. The rural lifestyle retailer, which caters to recreational farmers, ranchers and rural customers, thrived during the pandemic, with revenue up 70% since 2019. Moreover, the chain's decades-long growth spurt appears poised to persist as the rural revitalization trend continues, says Motley Fool. The 72-year-old farm supply chain numbers more than 2,000 stores, with half of those opened in the past 10 years. At least another 80 stores are planned to open this fiscal year, according to company reports. TSC is the world's largest retailer of livestock feed, with the livestock and pet category accounting for half of its total sales.
                                • High prices for crops and increased Chinese demand for crop imports are expected to boost farmers, agricultural chemical suppliers, and grain traders, The Wall Street Journal reports. “We expect the market environment to be similar to 2022,” the CEO of agribusiness and food company Bunge Greg Heckman said on a recent analyst call, adding “That includes a globally tight crop supply, strong demand.” Farmers are expected to increase plantings this year to capitalize on high grain prices and offset higher input costs. Corn acres are expected to surpass 90 million, up about 2% from 2022, according to Farm Progress. US net farm income is projected at $137 billion in 2023, down 16% from last year, when it hit its highest level in decades, according to a February report from the US Department of Agriculture.
                                • 2022 was a big year for US agricultural export revenues, according to US Census Bureau data. After setting a new high in 2021, US exporters broke more records in 2022. US exporters shipped $196 billion worth of agricultural products to international partners last year, surpassing the previous record of $176.5 billion set in 2021. China was the top buyer of US products, purchasing $38.2 billion of the year’s sales (19.5%), followed by Mexico ($28.5 billion) and Canada ($28.3 billion). Soybeans were the top commodity purchases, accounting for 18% of ag export sales. While export revenues soared, export volumes fell 6% year over year. The 2023 outlook for ag shipments is less certain. Export volume forecasts for the 2022/23 marketing year are 22%, 8%, and 3% lower for corn, soybeans, and wheat, respectively, than in the year prior.
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