US Reaches New Record for Organic Farmland
According to the Mercaris Organic Acreage Report, U.S. land for organic farming reached 4.1 million acres in 2016—a new record and an 11 percent increase compared to 2014. The top five states in organic cropland are California, Montana, Wisconsin, New York and North Dakota. California leads the pack with 688,000 acres, but Montana showed a 30 percent increase, reaching 417,000 acres in 2016, an increase of 100,000 acres since 2014, and adding 50 new organic farms. While New York and North Dakota each increased organic farming by more than 40,000 acres, North Dakota surpassed Oregon as the fifth leading state in organic acreage.
The top five organic crops by acreage were organic alfalfa/hay, wheat, corn, soybeans and oats. Organic wheat showed the greatest increase with nearly 150,000 more acres since 2014 and a 44 percent increase since 2011. Still, the percentage of organic crop acres planted remains small compared to conventional crops, with organic oats (3.6 percent) accounting for the highest percentage of an organic crop. Demand continues to outpace supply with some crops. Twenty-five percent of organic corn and 75 percent of organic soybeans in the U.S. are imported, reports EcoWatch. Full Story
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