WASHINGTON – The US Dept. of Agriculture recently launched an initiative aimed at gathering more data about organic agriculture production in the United States. Demand for organic products is growing along with the need for accurate statistics about organic agriculture production, the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the USDA said.
NASS is mailing a survey to all known organic farms and livestock operations in the US. Survey recipients are being asked to provide information on acreage, production and sales on a variety of certified organic livestock commodities and crops. The agency also is gathering information about production and marketing practices.
NASS said the 2015 Certified Organic Survey will provide data for USDA’s Risk Management Agency to evaluate crop insurance coverage and provide adequate pricing for organic producers. The information gathered in the report also will assist farmers, suppliers and others in the private sector in planning the production and marketing of new products to help sustain growth in the organic products industry. The report will be released in September.
“In recent years, US farms have experienced tremendous growth in organic agriculture sales,” Adam Cline, NASS Census Section head and member of the USDA Organic Working Group, said in a news release. “Last year, NASS reported that US certified and exempt organic farms sold a total of $5.5 billion in organic products in 2014, up 72 percent since 2008.
“…This survey will be another step forward by USDA in its commitment to helping organic agriculture thrive and will ensure that future decisions impacting the industry stem from factual information,” Cline said.
NASS is urging survey recipients to respond by Feb. 19. The agency will follow up by mail, phone and personal interviews with those who have not responded. Producers can return their forms by mail or complete the survey online at www.agcounts.usda.gov.