Feb 25, 2020
New organic field crop operations up 14% in 2019

U.S. farmers harvested nearly 3.3 million acres of certified organic field crops in 2019, driven by 14% more organic field crop operations, according to a report.

Mercaris – a market data service and online trading platform for organic, non-GMO and certified agricultural commodities – recently released its Final 2019 Acreage Report. The report shows the number of growers converting land to organic production increased from 2019.

In the report, released Feb.24, final numbers beat previous estimates. The added production varied by region, but boosted the U.S. organic harvest, offsetting the impact of its rainy growing season, according to the report.

According to the report:

  • 1.1 million acres of organic hay and alfalfa were harvested over 2019, up 8% from the previous year, with 11% more certified organic operations.
  • 13% more certified organic operations harvested organic corn over 2019, offsetting a significant decline in the number of acres harvested per operation.
  • Certified organic operations harvesting organic soybean reached 2,835, up 11% from the previous year.
  • Harvested organic wheat acres, mostly driven by expansion in the High Plains region, grew 16% over the previous year.

“While growth in the organic industry was anticipated, the 14% (year over year) expansion in certified organic field crop operations well exceeded expectations. Overall acreage expansion did prove to be limited by weather throughout the growing season,” Ryan Koory, Director of Economics at Mercaris said in a press release. “That said, the addition of new organic growers suggests that 2020 could see organic production reach new record highs.”

Mercaris focuses its data and services on identity-preserved commodities, including organic and non-GMO corn, soybean, meal and organic wheat, and other small grains markets across all regions of the United States and Canada, and recently launched an organic dairy initiative.

The full report is available at Mercaris.com/Analysis-Acreage.

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