WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is conducting the 2016 Certified 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 in the United States.
NASS is mailing the survey to all known certified organic farms and ranches within the 50 states. The form asks producers to provide information on acreage, production, and sales, as well as production and marketing practices. The agency asks all participants to respond by February 19. Producers can return their forms by mail or complete the survey online at www.agcounts.usda.gov.
“In recent years, U.S. farms and ranches have experienced tremendous growth in certified organic agriculture sales. Last year, NASS reported that U.S. certified organic producers sold a total of $6.2 billion in products in 2015, up 13 percent since 2014,” said Adam Cline, NASS Census Section Head and member of the USDA Organic Working Group. “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.”
Agriculture statistics are frequently used by business and policy decision makers. Farmers and ranchers themselves stand to reap benefits. The 2016 Certified 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 September 2017, 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.
“NASS has a long-standing reputation for providing objective, accurate data about all aspects of U.S. 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.”
As is the case with all NASS surveys, information provided is confidential by law. 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.
For more articles concerning the organic industry, click here.