News/Case Summaries

Index shows ag companies fare well in hard economy

By DAVID MERCER Associated Press

April 27, 2011

While most of the American economy has struggled the past few years, companies with a hand in agriculture have enjoyed a good ride.

Pretty good indeed, as it turns out.

University of Illinois economist Gary Schnitkey and graduate student Clay Kramer have created a new index of 21 agriculture-related companies to measure just how good it was.

The market value of the 21 companies in the Agindex increased on average 8.6 percent a year between 2007 and March 2011. That performance compares with a 2.7 percent annual drop in the S&P 500 over that period.

The index includes well-known companies such as Deere & Company and Archer Daniels Midland. But it also includes lesser-known firms such as fertilizer-maker Agrium Inc.

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