CHS tops list of top 100 ag cooperatives

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2014 - Minnesota-based CHS Inc. was the top agricultural cooperative in 2013, according to USDA data, bringing in more revenue than the rest of the top five cooperatives combined.

In USDA's annual list of the top 100 ag co-ops, the energy, farm supply, grain, and food co-op pulled in more than $44 billion in gross revenue in 2013. Fellow Saint Paul-based co-op Land O'Lakes Inc. was in second place, with $14.2 billion, followed by Dairy Farmers of America ($12.8 billion), GROWMARK ($10.2 billion), and Ag Processing Inc. ($5.6 billion).

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Like the nation's ag co-op sector as a whole, the top 100 cooperatives also enjoyed a third consecutive year of record sales. They reported revenue of $174 billion in 2013, an increase of almost 9 percent over the $166 billion reported in 2012.

Grain cooperatives have experienced the largest increase in top 100 representation during the past decade. There were 19 grain cooperatives in the top 100 in 2004. That number rose to 41 in 2013. Dairy cooperative representation in the top 100 fell from 28 to 21 during the same period, while farm supply cooperatives increased from 13 to 16.

Iowa and Minnesota remain leaders in ag co-op business. Iowa had the most co-ops on the list (16), but Minnesota led the list in business volume ($68.8 billion). Former Iowa governor and current Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said farmer-owned co-ops play a major role in making his home state an agricultural powerhouse.

"These statistics underscore what most Iowans already know - the state is extremely important to the nation's agricultural economy," Vilsack said in a USDA release.

USDA said 2013 net income for the top 100 co-ops was $3.5 billion, about $25 million less than record set in 2012.

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