U.S. organic acreage tops 5.3 million

Information collected from U.S. accredited organic certifying agents for 2014 and 2015 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released in December 2016 showed 14,861 U.S. organic farms in operation in 2015, with 5.3 million acres farmed organically. Of that total, slightly more than 2.1 million acres were used for certified organic pasture and rangeland.

These figures reflect a sizeable jump from 2014, when a total of 13,174 certified organic farms were reported with just slightly over 4 million acres—1.5 million acres of which were used for pasture and rangeland.

Information contained in the survey includes the number of certified organic operations along with the number of acres certified for various crops, and the reported livestock and poultry certified organic. This survey had previously been conducted by USDA’s Economic Research Service, and OTA anticipates that the valuable information contained in this survey will continue to be collected in the future by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

Meanwhile, a look at the USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service’s online Organic Integrity Database inn early December 2016 showed 23,330 certified organic operations—farms, handling and processing facilities—in the United States, and a total of 35,187 operations worldwide recognized by the National Organic Program (NOP). //