Agriculture stocks are benefiting from some huge trends. That’s why I’m sharing some of the best investment opportunities today. Below, you’ll find a list of the top farming stocks, along with other players in the ag industry…

tractor harvesting grain and looking for the best agriculture stocks

Top Agriculture Stocks

Agriculture can include farming, equipment, livestock, fertilizers and much more. These stocks cover most of the bases…

  1. Archer-Daniels-Midland (NYSE: ADM)
  2. Bunge (NYSE: BG)
  3. Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT)
  4. Deere & Company (NYSE: DE)
  5. Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE: SMG)
  6. Gladstone Land (Nasdaq: LAND)
  7. Calavo Growers (Nasdaq: CVGW)
  8. Mosaic (NYSE: MOS)
  9. Nutrien (NYSE: NTR)
  10. China Green Agriculture (NYSE: CGA).

I’ve included some company highlights below. But first, let’s look at two big trends pushing agriculture stocks to new highs…

1. Inflation Pushes Agriculture Stocks Higher

In the short term, inflation has picked up but appears to be leveling off. However, the food category of the consumer price index (CPI) is still rising

Government spending and central banks’ quantitative easing are helping to weaken the U.S. dollar and prop up commodity prices. According to Quantitative Expert Nicholas Vardy…

Inflation expectations priced into the U.S. bond market have already climbed to their highest level in eight years. Real assets like commodities tend to thrive in inflationary environments.

If you’re holding cash, your purchasing power is dropping. To protect yourself from this loss, you can invest in inflation-proof companies, the ones that can pass along their increasing costs to customers. And when it comes to food, people need to eat… no matter what the rest of the market is doing.

2. Population Growth and Food Demand

The world’s population is up roughly 300% in the last century. And this means more mouths to feed. As a result, agriculture stocks continue to climb.

On top of that, more people around the world are moving up to the middle class. They have higher discretionary income and can buy more costly food products. For example, meat consumption in China has soared to new highs.

Raising chickens, pigs and cattle requires even more grains. To keep up with this growing demand – and stay competitive – ag companies have become more tech savvy and efficient. Let’s look at some highlights below…

Ag Company Highlights

Archer-Daniels-Midland

Archer-Daniels-Midland is one of the largest agriculture companies in the world. It sources, transports, processes and distributes many products. Corn processing is one of its largest businesses. The company converts corn into bioproducts, starches and sweeteners.

Archer-Daniels-Midland is vertically integrated. It uses huge grain elevators, transportation networks and port operations around the world. This is to buy, store, clean and transport agricultural commodities. This scale helps it manage costs to stay competitive.

As a side note, there are smaller companies advancing agriculture. Check out these top vertical farming stocks as well. There are many unique opportunities to invest in food production today.

Bunge

Bunge is a smaller agriculture stock, but it’s similar in Archer-Daniels-Midland. It’s an international soybean exporter, and it’s involved in food processing, grain trading and fertilizers.

Bunge is also vertically integrated. It’s a diversified company that offers some financial and risk management services. It also has a strong global network with facilities on six continents. This diversification and large-scale production helped it become competition with other big names in the industry.

Caterpillar and Deere & Company

Both companies build and sell large equipment. They’re leaders in agricultural machines and also provide for other industries. For example, there’s design overlap with construction machinery. And Caterpillar is a more prominent brand in that industry.

On the ag side, you’ll find multitask machines that move bales, clean stalls, mix feed and more. There are many choices for loaders, excavators and harvesting equipment. The goal is to help agriculture producers improve productivity.

An important highlight for these companies is automation. John Deere and Caterpillar continue to develop autonomous machines. This saves producers time, and they’re also collecting more data, which can help farmers make better decisions and can improve crop yields.

Scotts Miracle-Gro

In the 1800s, Scotts started as a premium U.S. seed company. Over its long history it has transitioned to more of a lawn and garden company. Today, it provides a wide range of gardening and pest control products.

Scotts Miracle-Gro has also been expanding into hydroponics and owns Hawthorne Gardening Company. This business serves growers of all sizes, from commercial cultivators to home hobbyists. And this makes it a unique agriculture stock to consider buying.

Gladstone Land

Gladstone Land is a real estate investment trust (REIT). It’s a farmland company that has a growing portfolio of properties. You’ll find many of them in California and Florida, but it has properties across 15 states.

Another benefit to Gladstone’s structure is its requirement to pay dividends. This is standard for REITs. And a few of the other agriculture stocks on this list pay dividends. That’s always good to consider before investing.

Calavo Growers

Calavo Growers is one of the smaller players on this list. It comes with a little more risk, but the same is true for upside potential. The company packages and distributes avocados. And since avocados have seen a spike in demand, this has helped the company grow.

Calavo Growers also has a business segment that creates, markets and distributes healthy, fresh foods. These include fresh-cut fruit and vegetables, as well as some other prepared foods. As more consumers shift toward healthier foods, this company could see more growth.

Mosaic and Nutrien

As we produce higher-yielding crops, we suck more nutrients out of the soil. To lessen the impact, farmers can rotate crops. Even then, that’s not enough. That’s where companies like Mosaic and Nutrien come in…

These companies mine potash and provide other crop inputs. They’re some of the largest fertilizer companies in the world. And they can continue to push rising costs along to their customers. This makes them some of the best agriculture stocks around.

China Green Agriculture

China Green Agriculture gives investors direct exposure to China’s market. As mentioned, China’s demand for meat is climbing as more of its population moves up into the middle class. This demand and the growing population are powerful trends to profit on.

China Green Agriculture develops different fertilizers and agricultural products. However, it’s a small company compared with others on this list. So it will likely come with more volatility. If you’re looking for a riskier position to play in agriculture stocks, this could be it.

Final Thoughts and More Opportunities

The agriculture stocks above cover many areas of the ag industry. Buying into a basket of these companies might help protect you against inflation. In the short term, there’s volatility. But long term, the companies’ stocks are trending up.

Another area I’m watching closely is timber and lumber. Here are some of the top lumber stocks to consider. Although, the markets are always moving and there are many investment opportunities to consider today…