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USDA releases survey on organic production

Published: Friday, Oct. 26, 2012 11:47 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 9:46 a.m. CDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified organic growers in the United States sold more than $3.5 billion organically grown agricultural commodities in 2011, according to the results of the 2011 Certified Organic Production Survey, released Oct. 4 by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). NASS conducted the survey for USDA’s Risk Management Agency to help refine federal crop insurance products for organic producers. 

Mirroring its conventional counterpart, corn leads organic field crops in sales and accounted for more than $101.5 million in 2011. The only other field crops to have more than $50 million in sales were alfalfa dry hay and winter wheat, accounting for $69.5 million and $54 million in sales respectively.

When it comes to organic field crops acreage, Wisconsin leads the nation with more than 110,000 acres harvested in 2011. Wisconsin is followed by New York, with organic growers harvesting more than 97,000 acres. California closely follows with more than 91,000 acres of organic field crops harvested in 2011.

In addition to looking at organically produced crops, the survey also gathered information on the organically raised livestock, which accounted for $1.31 billion in sales in 2011. Organic milk was the top livestock commodity last year, accounting for $765 million in sales. The other key organic livestock commodities were chicken eggs and broiler chickens, earning $276 million and $115 million in sales respectively.

The survey results also include statistics on organically grown fruit and vegetables, value-added products and marketing outlets. The full results of the survey are available online at

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