SIC 0723

This classification covers establishments primarily engaged in performing services on crops, subsequent to their harvest, with the intent of preparing them for market or further processing. Establishments primarily engaged in buying farm products for resale to other than the general public for household consumption and which also prepare them for market or further processing are regarded as wholesale trade establishments. Establishments primarily engaged in stemming and redrying tobacco are classified in SIC 2141: Tobacco Stemming and Redrying. Establishments engaged in ginning cotton are classified in SIC 0724: Cotton Ginning.

SIC 0723 Crop Preparation Services for Market, Except Cotton Ginning

NAICS Code(s)

115114 (Postharvest Crop Activities (except Cotton Ginning))

The scope of operations included under the crop preparation services for market industry is large. It includes bean, grain, and seed cleaning; corn, peanut, and nut shelling; fruit and vegetable sorting, grading, and cooling; grain, hay, fruit, and vegetable drying; packaging of fresh or farm-dried fruits and vegetables; potato and yam curing; grain fumigation; custom grinding; and tobacco grading. U.S. farms decreased their total expenditures on farm services from $25.7 billion in 2000 to $25.4 billion in 2001.

The leading firm in the crop preparation services for market industry is Deli Universal Inc. of Richmond, Virginia, a unit of Universal Corp., which posted 2003 sales of $2.6 billion and employed 28,000 workers. The second-leading company is Golden Peanut Co. of Alpharetta, Georgia, with more than 1,000 employees working at its eight shelling plants, two specialty products plants, and two hulls processing plants as of 2004. Golden Peanut specializes in peanut flours, which it roasted to achieve the color and flavor of roasted peanuts. Used in peanut butter flavored confections, these flours control fat migration and extend shelf life. Other industry players include Dole Fresh Vegetables of Salinas, California, a subsidiary of privately owned Dole Food Co., and Diamond Walnut Growers Inc. of Stockton, California, which posted sales of $331 million in 2003.

Average wages for the agricultural services industry totaled $10.95 per hour in the early 2000s. Earnings in crop preparation can vary greatly, depending on the season. Many workers find work only in the growing or harvesting seasons and are unemployed or work in other jobs during the rest of the year. Most industry workers either manage crop production activities livestock and dairy production. According to the Economic Research Services, jobs in farm-related agricultural services sectors would experience more modest growth than other sectors in the early 2000s due to the increased use of machinery, as well as other practices that have increased efficiency on farms.

Further Reading

U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. Farm Labor: Employment Characteristics of Hired Farmworkers. Washington, DC: 2002. Available from .

U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. "Farm Production Expenses." 2002. Available from .

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