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Iowa Tops Nation for Ag Co-op Business Volume
Iowa Ag Connection - 11/25/2020

Iowa was the nation's top state for net business volume conducted by agricultural cooperatives during 2019. Based on USDA's annual survey of co-ops, 106 cooperatives doing business in Iowa reported $17.1 billion in net business volume, derived from marketing farm commodities, farm supply sales, and providing services for producers.

Ranking second was Minnesota, where 200 co-ops did $16.5 billion worth of business. Combined, Iowa and Minnesota accounted for 18.9 percent of the $178 billion in net business volume for ag co-ops nationwide.

California ranked third among the states for co-op business volume, with 127 ag co-ops recording $13.4 billion in net business. Illinois was fourth with $12.8 billion in net business by 114 ag co-ops. Wisconsin followed with 94 ag co-ops conducting $9.4 billion of net business. The top five states together generated $69.5 billion in net-business, or 39.1 percent national net business total of just under $178 billion.

Rounding out the top 10 states in net business volume by ag co-ops are Nebraska ($7.7 billion in net business), Washington ($7.5 billion), Kansas ($6.8 billion), North Dakota ($6.6 billion), and Texas ($6 billion). The top 10 states had 57.5 percent of the total net business volume of all states.

Co-ops marketed $48.4 billion in grains and oilseeds in 2019, making it the largest commodity sector in terms of net sales for ag co-ops. Dairy (milk and milk products) was second, at $42.4 billion. Fruit and vegetables ranked third, at $6.7 billion, followed by: sugar ($7.8 billion), livestock ($4.9 billion), cotton and cottonseed ($2.8 billion), nuts ($1.7 billion), poultry ($943 million), rice ($1.7 billion), beans and peas ($224 million), fish ($232 million) and tobacco ($316 million). "Other" products (which includes forest products, hay, hops, seed for growers, nursery products, biofuels, coffee, wool, mohair, etc.) accounted for $5.3 billion in business volume.

Grains and oilseeds marketing made up 41 percent of the total and dairy followed at 35 percent. Thus, these two commodities represented 76 percent of total ag co-op marketing. Following the top two biggest commodities were fruit and vegetables (6 percent of the total), sugar (4 percent), and livestock (3 percent).

For total products marketed by ag co-ops, California, Minnesota, Iowa, Washington, and Illinois were the leading states. California marketed $12.3 billion of farm commodities, followed by Minnesota ($10.1 billion), Iowa ($9.8 billion), Washington ($6.1 billion) and Illinois ($5.9 billion).

The major commodities marketed in California included dairy, fruits and vegetables, nuts, rice, and poultry. Major marketing of commodities in Minnesota were grains and oilseeds, dairy, sugar, livestock and poultry. Iowa was the top state for co-op grains and oilseeds marketed, Arkansas for rice, Maine for fish, and North Dakota for beans and dry peas.

Co-ops sold $53.2 billion in farm supplies in 2019. The highest sales levels among farm supplies, were petroleum and energy products at 18.9 billion, followed by fertilizer at $10.7 billion, feed at $9.9 billion, crop protectants at $3.4 billion, other supplies at $4.6 billion and seed at $3.4 billion.

Petroleum and energy products accounted for 36 percent of total net farm supplies sold by co-ops. Next was fertilizer at 20 percent, followed by feed (19 percent), crop protectants (10 percent), other supplies (9 percent), and seed (6 percent).

The leading state for farm supply sales by ag co-ops was Iowa in 2019 at $6.8 billion in net sales, or 12.8 percent of the nation's total. Minnesota was next with co-op sales of $5.1 billion, or 9.6 percent of all ag co-op farm supply sales. Illinois ranked third, with $4.8 billion in farm supply sales (9.1 percent). Following those states were Wisconsin ($3.4 billion), and Nebraska ($3.2 billion). The states of North Dakota, Missouri, Kansas, Indiana, and South Dakota rounded out the top 10 states in farm supply sales by co-ops. The top 5 states had $23.3 billion in farm supply net sales, or 43.8 percent of the total co-op farm supply sales, and the top 10 states had $35.9 billion in sales, or 67.5 percent of the total.

Iowa was the leading state for ag co-op sales of petroleum, feed, and fertilizer. Illinois was the leading state in co-op sales of crop protectants and seed, and Wisconsin led in sales of other farm supplies.

Co-ops also cooperate with each other, conducting a significant amount of inter-cooperative business. A total $23.2 billion in inter-cooperative business occurred in 2019. The sum of inter-cooperative business, net sales, and service income, equaled $201.2 billion (this is excluding patronage and non-operating income). When also including patronage and non-operating income of $1.8 billion, the total was $203 billion, which represents total gross business volume. Total net business volume dropped by $1.3 billion, or by 0.6 percent, from the previous year, while total gross business volume fell by $767 million, or by 0.4 percent.

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