The Organic Production survey provides acreage, production, and sales data for a variety of organic crop and livestock commodities plus organic marketing practices. The Organic Production survey was initiated in 2009 to support this emerging industry.
The target population is all certified organic farms. Certified organic farms must meet the qualifications set out by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the USDA and be certified compliant by an approved agent of AMS. Farms employing organic practices but selling less than $5,000 of organic products are exempt from certification. Transitioning farms have filed a plan and begun the process of becoming certified organic. The Organic Production survey is a census of all operations identified as having certified organic production.
The Organic Production publication is released in August. Data are provided for all items by state and the U.S. with some suppressions to protect the confidentiality of individual operations.
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The Organic Production survey covers organic acreage, production, sales, and marketing practices.
The Organic Production data provide detailed, unbiased information for business planning and to assess the economic impact and the geographic distribution of organic farming. In a growing industry, the data are used to guide industry planning and implementation and monitor growth. The data also form a factual basis for government programs and research funding.
The Organic Production survey is conducted each year with a rotation of crops. The reference year is the production year previous to the data collection year.
Data are collected by mail, telephone, or personal enumeration. A first mailing is made to all operations in the sample with an option to respond through the internet. A second mailing is made to non respondents one month later. A telephone follow up of operations not responding to the mailings is attempted to maximize response. In some special cases, personal visits are made. Sample weights of the reporting operations are adjusted to account for non response.
The Organic Production program began as a follow on to the 2007 Census of Agriculture using census responses to define the original target population. Exempt and transitional operations were included in the first survey.
Census of Agriculture
Last modified: 05/24/12
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