Thursday, February 18, 2010

New USDA Data Offers In-Depth Look at Organic Farming

"According to results of the 2008 Organic Production Survey released February 3, 2010 by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, Iowa ranks ninth in the U.S. in number of organic farms.

"This was USDA's first wide-scale survey of organic producers, and it was undertaken in direct response to the growing interest in organics among consumers, farmers, businesses, policymakers and others," says USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. "The information will be an important building block for future program and policy development."

The survey counted 14,540 U.S. farms and ranches that were either USDA certified organic or were exempt from certification because their sales totaled less than $5,000. These operations comprised 4.1 million acres of land, of which 1.6 million acres were harvested cropland and 1.8 million acres were pasture or rangeland. In Iowa, 518 farms were reported, comprising 94,568 total acres."

Read the article