Organic agricultural produce in the US is booming with farms selling $7.6 billion worth of organic commodities in 2016, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The results show that sales were up 23% on 2015. Meanwhile, the number of certified organic farms in the country increased 11% to 14,217, and the number of certified acres increased by 15% to 5 million.
Crops accounted for 56% of the sale of certified organic production; livestock, poultry, and their products accounted for 44%.
The top organic commodities in 2016 were: milk, $1.4 billion (up 18%); eggs, $816 million (up 11%); broiler chickens, $750 million (up 78%); apples, $327 million (up 8%); lettuce, $277 million (up 6%).
Other top organic crops were strawberries, grapes, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, hay, spinach, and mushrooms.
California, with $2.9 billion in organic sales, continued to lead the nation in certified sales, accounting for 38% of the US total. It also had the largest share of certified organic acres and farms.
Three states had more than 1,000 certified farms: California (2,713), Wisconsin (1,276), and New York (1,059).
National Agricultural Statistics Service administrator Hubert Hamer said: “The results of the 2016 Certified Organic Survey show the continued interest and growth in organic foods.
“The survey provides the only comprehensive source of national and state data on certified organic production. It was expanded in 2016 from previous years to include fresh and processed information separately for all fruit and berry crops, as well as to include grape data by variety.”
Ten states accounted for 77% of US certified organic sales, virtually the same share as in 2015 and 2014.
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