RALEIGH, N.C. — Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the results of the 2019 Organic Survey, which showed North Carolina total sales of $369.8 million in organic products, an increase of $224.9 million from 2016. There were 347 certified organic farms, accounting for 42,740 certified acres as compared to the 2016 survey showing 247 certified organic farms 31,800 certified acres.
“The results of the 2019 Organic Survey show the continued growth of organic production in North Carolina and the United States,” said NASS NC State Statistician, Dee Webb. “These comprehensive and essential, national- and state-level data are valuable to the organic industry as well as agri-business infrastructure and programs that support the sector.”
The major commodity breakouts in 2019 were:
- Livestock and Poultry: $221.3million, up from $8.0 million
- Livestock and poultry products: $83 million, up from $58.6 million
- Crops, including nursery and greenhouse: $65.4 million, down from $78.3 million
Marketing practices in the certified organic farming sector showed that $6.8 million in organic products sold directly to retail markets, institutions, and local/regional food hubs. Another $944,821 in organic products were sold directly to consumers at farmers markets, on-farm stores and stands, roadside stands or stores, u-pick, community supported agriculture farms, and online markets. Value-added products such as jam, wine, cheese, and meat, accounted for $358,956.
The survey also asked producers about plans for future production. Twenty-three percent of farms plan to increase their level of organic production. More than 30 certified organic farms have 8,492 additional acres in the three-year transition period required for land to become certified as organic. An additional 21 farms not currently certified reported 710 acres of land transitioning to organic production.
The 2019 Organic Survey, a 2017 Census of Agriculture special study, is a census of all known U.S. farms and ranches with certified organic production in 2019, as well as those transitioning into organic production. Producers must meet the standards set out by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s National Organic Program and be certified compliant by an approved agent of the program. Additional survey results as well as the results of previous NASS organic surveys are available at www.nass.usda.gov/organics or in NASS’s online Quick Stats database. *****************
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If you have any other questions or data requests, please contact the NASS North Carolina Field Office at 919-707-3333.