SILVER SPRING, Md. — Organic commodity farmers will harvest a record number of acres across the U.S. this year despite the weather and trade challenges plaguing agriculture in 2019.
According to the Annual Acreage Report, released today by Mercaris, farmers will harvest 3.1 million acres of U.S. land certified for organic field crop production, an increase of 7% over 2018. The increase is driven in large part by a surge in new certified organic field crop operations across the nation. The West and High Plains regions saw the largest jump in organic harvested field crop acres this year.
Mercaris, based in Silver Spring, Md., is the nation’s leading market data and trading platform for organic and non-GMO markets.
“Organic field crop production has faced some challenges this year, with problematic weather cutting into this year’s organic corn and soybean harvest,” said Ryan Koory, Director of Economics at Mercaris. “However, the industry overall remains on a robust growth trend, and with better weather in 2020, the industry will likely see even more growth in the year to come.”
Overall total organic acres, which includes pasture, rangeland, and organic crop area, will reach 8.3 million acres this year. In addition, 18,155 U.S. farm operation are now certified compliant with the USDA National Organic Program standards, a 3% increase from 2018.
“With the addition of 517 certified organic operations this year, it is clear that the U.S. organic sector remains promising, despite the unsteady state of the U.S. agricultural industry overall,” Koory said.
Along with the Annual Acreage Report, Mercaris released its new Organic Farm Heat Map, which highlights the density and distribution of U.S. organic ag operations and logistics.
“Reliable analysis about the organic landscape is critical for the entire sector and we hope to add a new perspective with our Organic Farm Heat Map,” Mercaris co-founder and CEO Kellee James said. “At Mercaris our goal is to provide cutting-edge information to stakeholders, giving them the analysis that has long been available in other agriculture sectors.”