US Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Sector

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 1.9 million farms and establishments involved in agricultural support, forestry, fishing, and hunting make up the sector. Establishments in this sector are focused on propagating and harvesting plants and animals for food, materials, and sport. While the vast majority of operations are small or family-owned businesses, corporate enterprises are entering the sector at a growing rate.

Food Safety and Traceability

Intentional and unintentional contamination of the US food supply is a growing concern.

Changes in Government Support

The agricultural and fishing subsectors benefit from government subsidies that increase income and reduce risk and costs.

Industry size & Structure
Industry Forecast
US Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Sector Industry Growth
Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

Recent Developments

May 16, 2024 - Sector Activity Grew in April
  • The US Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Sector ranked third among the 12 service sectors reporting growth in April as measured by the Institute for Supply Management’s Services PMI, a monthly gauge of activity based on data compiled monthly from purchasing and supply executives. April’s growth was encouraging after gross output for the sector declined last year. In the fourth quarter of 2023, gross output fell 8.81% compared to a year ago and was down 2.7% from the previous quarter, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The price index for commodities produced by the sector also declined last year compared to the prior year.
  • 2023 saw a record low for the number of fish stocks subject to overfishing, according to NOAA Fisheries Status of the Stocks report released in May. The annual report, an assessment of the 506 stocks and stock complexes managed by NOAA Fisheries, provides a look at the overall health of US fisheries. In 2023, US fisheries data revealed that 94% of stocks are not subject to overfishing, and 82% are not overfished. These numbers show slight improvements compared to the 2022 figures of 93% and 81%, respectively. Ongoing positive trends continued, with the number of stocks on the overfishing list decreasing by three stocks, reaching an all-time low of 21 stocks, and the number of stocks on the overfished list decreasing by one stock to 47. In 2023, summer flounder and Lane snapper were added to the overfished list, while Snohomish coho salmon was removed.
  • Heatwaves are lingering for longer periods, exacerbating the harmful effects of extreme temperatures, The New York Times reports, citing a study published in March in the journal Science Advances. Fueled by global warming, heatwaves have increased in frequency, intensity, and duration across many parts of the globe during the past decades, according to the study, with serious consequences for farmland, forests, oceans, and the industries they support. Between 1979 and 2020, the rate at which heatwaves travel slowed by about 5 miles per day, the study found. Heatwaves also now last about four days longer on average. Life-threatening heatwaves dry out soil and vegetation, harm crops, and raise the risk of wildfires. Among the first to track how heatwaves move through space and time, the study attributes the changes largely to human-caused climate change and natural climate variability.
  • The USDA is investing more than $200 million in renewable energy and domestic fertilizer projects to lower energy bills, generate new income, create jobs, and strengthen competition for US farmers, ranchers, and agricultural producers, according to a department press release. The USDA is awarding $207 million in 42 states for projects through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program (FPEP). Specifically, REAP will award a total of $157 million in 675 projects in 42 states, including more than $94 million from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. REAP provides grants and loans to help ag producers and rural small business owners expand their use of wind, solar, and other forms of clean energy and make energy efficiency improvements. The FPEP will invest $50 million in seven projects in seven states to help US farmers increase independent, domestic fertilizer production.
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