University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives
Rural Cooperatives, Jan./Feb. 1998, pp. 4-6.
Published by the Rural Business and Cooperative Development Service
Higher Grain Sales Help Co-ops Set Market Share Record in '96
Charles A. Kraenzle
Director Statistics Staff
Editor's Note: Assistance in developing estimates of cooperatives'
shares of farm marketings and farm production expenditures was provided
by staff members of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service of USDA's Rural
Development: Dave Cummins, grains and oilseeds; Eldon Eversull, farm supplies;
Andy Jermolowicz, fruits and vegetables and tobacco; Charles Ling, milk;
and Bruce Reynolds, cotton and cottonseed.
For the first time since 1951, when USDA began tracking the market share of agricultural cooperatives, U.S. farmer-owned cooperatives in 1996 marketed more than one-third of the nation's farm commodities - including crops, livestock and poultry.
The nation's 3,884 agricultural cooperatives marketed $79.4 billion worth of farm commodities, or 34 percent of all U.S. farm commodities marketed in 1996. That topped the previous market share record of 32 percent, set by cooperatives in 1995. The major reason for the jump was a sharp increase in market share by grain cooperatives, which realized a 39-percent increase in sales value due largely to high er grain prices.
Cooperatives' share of farm marketings stood at 30 percent in the early 1980s, declined to a low of 24 percent in 1987, and has generally increased since then (figure 1).
U.S. cooperatives also sold a record $23.7 billion worth of farm supplies in 1996. Cooperatives' share of major farm supply expenditures - feed, seed, fertilizer, petroleum and crop protectants - remained at 28 percent. That is slightly less than the record 29 percent share of major farm supply expenditures cooperatives set in 1979 and matched in 1992 and 1994.
Table 1 - Cooperatives' share of U.S. farm marketings, by selected commodity group, 1996-94
1 Estimates are rounded to the nearest whole percent. Data for 1995 were revised due to changes reported for U.S. cash receipts.
2 Excludes cottonseed.
3 Includes mohair.
4 Includes poultry and eggs, dry edible beans and peas, nuts, rice, tobacco, sugarcane, sugarbeets, honey, and other miscellaneous marketings.
5 All farm commodities weighted by value.
Table 2 - Cooperatives' shares of U.S. major farm production expenditures, 1996-94
2 The five farm production items weighted by value.
Co-ops' Share of Grain Marketings Up Significantly
Cooperatives' share of grain and oilseed marketings sold off the farm reached 49 percent in 1996, up from 39 percent in 1995 and the highest on record. The big increase was due, in large part, to many co-op members "clearing out their bins" - selling grain and oilseeds to their cooperatives which they might normally have kept in storage - to take advantage of the high prices.
In 1996, farmer cooperatives marketed a record $27.7 billion of grains and oilseeds, up $7.8 billion, or 39.2 percent, from 1995. In comparison, total U.S. cash receipts for grains and oilseeds increased 15.1 percent. Significantly higher market prices in 1996 accounted for most of the total dollar increase.
Dairy Co-ops Maintain Largest Share
Cooperatives accounted for 20 percent of the nation's fruit/vegetable sales in 1996, down from 21 percent in 1995. Cooperatives' sales of fruits and vegetables totaled nearly $9.4 billion in 1996, up 1.3 percent from 1995. However, cash receipts were up nearly 3.7 percent and cooperative purchases of fruits and vegetables from noncooperative firms increased nearly 22 percent in 1996. Purchases from non-cooperative firms were not included in the calculation because the market share estimate represents cooperative involvement at the first-handler level.
Cooperatives' share of livestock (including wool and mohair) marketings totaled 13 percent in 1996, up from 12 percent in 1995. Cooperatives' livestock sales hit $6.7 billion in 1996, up nearly $252 million, or 3.9 percent. Total U.S. cash receipts for livestock and wool dropped 0.7 percent from 1995 to 1996.
Cooperatives' share of "all other" marketings, such
as poultry, tobacco, nuts, rice and sugar, climbed to 14 percent, up from
13 percent (table 1). Cooperatives' "all other" marketings in 1996 totaled
more than $10.1 billion, an 11 percent increase from the $9.1 billion marketed
in 1995. Total U.S. cash receipts for "all other" marketings increased
Co-ops Maintain Share of Farm Production Expenditures
Farm cash expenditures for the major supply items
increased 7.7 percent from 1995 to 1996, while co-ops' safes increased
Cooperatives' sales of major farm supplies totaled $20.4 billion in 1996. Petroleum sales accounted for $6.3 billion, or 30.9 percent, of the $20.4 billion. Petroleum sales rose 20.8 percent; seed, 13 percent; and fertilizer, 10.8 percent; indicating the favorable crop conditions farmers had in 1996.
Feed accounted for the second largest proportion
of co-ops' farm supply sales (26.4 percent), followed by fertilizer (25.5
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