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Definition

agribusiness

An agribusiness is a line of business (LOB) that focuses on the processing, warehousing, distribution, marketing and retailing of products used in farming. The goal of agribusiness is to improve operations in order to keep prices reasonable. To that end, many agribusinesses products and services feature advanced internet of things (IoT) technologies that help farmers raise livestock, grow produce, manage machinery and process and ship product more efficiently. 

Academic institutions and degrees as well as trade associations foster the development of various agribusiness fields. Research in agribusiness often comes from the academic fields of agricultural economics and management studies, or agribusiness management.

Countries with farming industries face consistent pressures from global competition, particularly for products such as wheat, corn and soybeans that are commodities. To remain competitive, agribusinesses must operate more efficiently, which often requires investments in new technologies, new methods of fertilizing and watering crops, and new ways of reaching the global market.

Another challenge agribusinesses face is changing consumer tastes, for example, some consumers’ shift away from red meat or a change in popularity of some fruits and vegetables. To be successful, agribusinesses must be able to predict and adapt quickly to market changes.
Although agribusiness is simply agriculture-related business, the term may have negative connotations for some. This is a result of negative biases and stereotypes regarding agribusiness’ association with large corporations that may produce environmentally questionable, non-organic products and that may squeeze the profits of smaller, potentially sustainable farms.

Agribusiness examples include:

Deere & Company, which makes John Deere equipment.The firm doesn't own farms or produce food products, but nearly every farmer owns a John Deere tractor, baler or some other piece of the quintessential green and gold farm equipment.

Monsanto Company

Dow AgroSciences

This was last updated in November 2017

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