Farms in this industry grow field corn, wheat, or rice crops and seeds. No major companies dominate the industry.
Global revenue from corn, wheat, and rice production is about $475 billion annually, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The US is the largest cultivator of corn, the world's second most-produced crop (behind sugarcane). India and China are the largest wheat producers. China is also the leading producer of rice. Demand for grain crops is expected to grow in developing countries, where populations are increasing rapidly.
The US grain farming industry includes about 500,000 farms with combined annual grain revenue of about $60 billion.
Producers of sweet corn, a vegetable, are included in the Vegetable & Melon Farming industry profile.
Demand is driven by government policies and trends in eating grains, meat, and corn-based sweeteners, such as high-fructose corn syrup. Ethanol use has also become a factor in recent years. The profitability of individual companies depends on maximizing crop yield and minimizing disease risk. Large companies have advantages in highly mechanized operations and access to the latest in genetically modified (GM) grains. Small operations can compete by specializing in organic or non-GM grains.
Grain farms compete against oilseed and vegetable crops for farm acreage, as farmers tend to plant and harvest crops with the highest yield and payout. Field corn competes against crushed oilseed as a livestock food source.
The US is a net exporter of grains. About 20% of all US corn production is shipped for export. About 55% of US wheat production is exported. Primary markets for corn and wheat include Mexico and Japan. The Philippines and Nigeria are also top export markets for US wheat. Imports, mainly from Canada, make up about 10% of the US wheat market. About 20% of US rice production is exported. Leading markets include Mexico and Venezuela.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products include field corn (about 80% of revenue), wheat (15%), and rice (5%). Field corn is used primarily for livestock feed. Field corn also
Sales & Marketing
Finance & Regulation
Regional & International Issues
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
Trends and Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Glossary of Acronyms