|Non-patronage business conducted by U.S.
farmer co-ops totaled $15.6 billion in 1994, or 14.8 percent of the $105.5
billion in gross business volume. That represents a six year high in both
business volume and as a percent of total business. In 1993, non-patronage
business was $13.7 billion and accounted for about 14 percent of the total
(table 1). In 1989, non-patronage business totaled $10.3 billion, or 11.6
percent of the total.
Of the $15.6 billion in total non-patronage business,
$8.8 billion was generated by marketing crops and livestock, $6.1 billion
from the sale of farm supplies, and $700 million from services and other
income. More than $6.9 billion, or 78.6 percent, of the $8.8 billion in
non patronage marketing sales was sales of milk and milk products ($2.75
billion), grains and oilseeds excluding cottonseed ($1.5 billion), and
fruits and vegetables ($2.66 billion). The non-patronage business trend
(in actual dollars and percent of business) has been rising from 1989-94
Non patronage farm supply sales, as a percent of
total non-patronage sales, increased from 33.1 percent in 1989 to 39.2
percent in 1994 (fig. 2). Non-patronage farm marketing sales decreased
as a percent of total non-patronage business, from 64.5 percent to 56.3
The distribution of total non-patronage business
among selected types of cooperatives for 1989 and 1994 is shown in figure
The proportional share of total non-patronage business
increased for "other" marketing cooperatives, such as rice and livestock
co-ops. The share decreased for grain and oilseed co-ops. Farm supply co-ops
accounted for the largest proportion (28.1 percent) of total non-patronage
business in 1994.
During 1989-94, on average, 32.6 percent of farm
supply co-ops' total business was done on a non-patronage basis. This compares
with 20.4 percent for marketing co-ops and 14 percent for related-service
co-ops. For marketing cooperatives, 20.2 percent of their farm supply sales
was on a non-patronage basis, higher than their farm supply and related-service
Data were taken from USDA's Cooperative Services'
annual survey of farmer cooperatives. Cooperatives were asked to report
the percent of total commodity marketing sales, percent of farm supplies
and other related sales, and percent of service receipts and other income
handled on a non-patronage basis. Data obtained from respondents were expanded
to represent all 4,174 cooperatives in 1994.