Cargill has agreed to sell its crop insurance agency to Silveus Insurance Group for an undisclosed price.

Silveus, based in Indiana, is one of the largest U.S. crop insurance agencies. Minnetonka-based Cargill employs about 40 people in the crop insurance business that it started in 2007.

While the deal disclosed on Tuesday is a small one, it marks the end of a particularly active six months for Cargill in terms of buying and jettisoning of businesses.

Minnetonka-based Cargill, one of the world's largest private companies, bought the Norway-based fish feed firm EWOS for $1.5 billion during the year's second half. The deal was one of Cargill's biggest ever, and bolstered its presence in aquaculture feed.

On the flip side, Cargill sold its U.S. pork operations — which date to the early 1970s — to Brazilian meat giant JBS for $1.45 billion. The company followed that by agreeing to sell for $720 million its 50 percent stake in a steelmaking company. The buyer was its Australian joint venture partner.

And Cargill announced it would unwind its Black River Asset Management subsidiary, just two months after Black River closed four hedge funds and paid out $1 billion of the $7 billion-plus it had under management.

Selling crop insurance has been one of many services Cargill provides to U.S. farmers. In a press statement, Dave Baudler, president of Cargill AgHorizons U.S., said the company could accomplish its mission with farmers "through our core grain marketing and risk management programs without being directly involved in the sale of crop insurance."

The Cargill deal is the second this month involving a crop insurance business based in the Twin Cities. Wells Fargo & Co. announced it will sell its Rural Community Insurance Services, an Anoka-based unit that underwrites crop insurance policies, to Zurich Insurance Group in a transaction expected to be worth about $1 billion.

Mike Hughlett • 612-673-7003