AgricultureNews

USDA to Gather New Data on Certified Organic Agriculture Production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is conducting the 2021 Organic Survey to gather new data on certified organic crops and livestock commodities in the United States. This effort is critical to help determine the economic impact of certified organic agriculture production on the nation.

NASS is mailing the survey to all known certified organic farms and ranches within the 50 states. The questionnaire asks producers to provide information on acreage, production, and sales as well as production and marketing practices. Participants should respond by April 4. Producers can return their questionnaires by mail or complete them online at www.agcounts.usda.gov using the new Respondent Portal. On the portal, producers can complete their surveys, see previously reported data, access data visualizations and reports of interest, link to other USDA agencies, get a local weather update and more.

“We continue to receive requests for updated data on organic farms, especially to measure growth in the production sector of the organic industry,” said Donald Buysse, chief of the Census Planning Branch at NASS. “According to the 2019 survey, U.S. certified organic producers sold a total of $9.93 billion in products, up 31% over 2016. That is a significant increase, and this upcoming survey will help determine if that type of growth has been sustained.”

Agriculture statistics are used by many, including business and policy decision makers, but in this case, farmers and ranchers stand to reap the most benefits. The 2021 Organic Survey will provide data for USDA’s Risk Management Agency to evaluate crop insurance coverage to help provide adequate pricing for organic producers. The report, to be released on the NASS website Dec. 15, 2022, will also assist producers, suppliers, and others in the private sector in planning the production and marketing of new products to help sustain industry growth.

“This survey continues a great partnership across USDA agencies in a commitment to support certified organic producers based on the best data possible,” added Buysse. “This voluntary survey gives all organic farmers and ranchers who receive it an opportunity to impact the industry.”

“I encourage producers to participate in this survey so we can continue to improve Federal crop insurance for organic producers,” said Marcia Bunger, Administrator for USDA’s Risk Management Agency. “We now offer an organic price for 84 crops, which is up from just four in 2011, due in part to the information received from this survey. Producers’ participation in this survey will aid USDA efforts to meet the needs of our nation’s ever-expanding organic market.”

As is the case with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is kept confidential and will not be published in identifiable form, as required by federal law. For more information about the 2021 Certified Organic Survey, visit www.nass.usda.gov/organics.

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