USDA conducting certified organic survey

Feb. 1, 2017 - by MEAT+POULTRY Staff

WASHINGTON – In an effort to help determine the economic impact of certified organic production in the United States, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is conducting the 2016 Certified Organic Survey. The survey aims to collect new data on certified organic crops and livestock commodities in the US.

NASS’ survey form is going to all known certified organic ranches and farms in the US and asks to provide information on acreage, production, sales, production practices and marketing practices. NASS is requesting all participants in the survey to respond no later than Feb. 19. Participants can complete the survey online at www.agcounts.usda.gov or return forms by mail.

“In recent years, US farms and ranches have experienced tremendous growth in certified organic agriculture sales. Last year, NASS reported that US certified organic producers sold a total of $6.2 billion in products in 2015, up 13 percent since 2014,” Adam Cline, NASS Census Section Head and member of the USDA Organic Working Group, said in a statement. “As sales from certified organic agriculture products increase, demand for accurate statistics about certified organic farming grows. This survey will be another step forward by USDA in its commitment to helping certified organic agriculture thrive and will ensure that future decisions impacting the industry stem from factual information.”

The data gathered from the survey will provide USDA’s Risk Management Agency information to evaluate crop insurance coverage and adequate pricing for organic producers. Business and policy decision makers also will use the statistics to benefit farmers and ranchers. USDA and NASS plan to release the report in September 2017. The report will assist producers, suppliers and others in the private sector in planning the production and marketing of new products to help sustain industry growth, according to NASS.

“NASS has a long-standing reputation for providing objective, accurate data about all aspects of US agriculture, but the only way for us to provide accurate reports is with producers’ input,” added Cline. “This is a voluntary survey and I hope that all organic farmers and ranchers who receive it will recognize it as a way to impact their industry and take the time to respond.”

Information provided is confidential by law and NASS publishes all data in aggregate, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified, as required by federal law. For more information about the 2016 Certified Organic Survey, visit www.nass.usda.gov/organics.