Milk is top commodity in certified organic sales

Milk is top commodity in certified organic sales

USDA NASS survey finds California and Wisconsin have most certified organic dairy farms.

The 12,818 certified organic farms in the United States sold $6.2 billion in organic products in 2015, up 13% from $5.5 billion in 2014.

This is among the findings the 2015 Certified Organic Survey, conducted by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The survey found that California has the largest number of organic farms in the nation, with 2,637 certified organic farms. Wisconsin was second with 1,205 certified organic farms.

Milk is top commodity in certified organic sales

The top 10 states in terms of sales accounted for 78% of total U.S. certified organic sales in 2014 and 2015.

The industry shows growth potential, with 151,000 acres nationally transitioning to organic production.

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service conducted the 2015 Certified Organic Survey. (Photo: Ljupco/Thinkstock)

“The report . . . shows that organic producers are marketing their products through similar avenues in 2015 as in 2014, largely within their region, and that the value of sales increased during that time for many products,” said NASS administrator Hubert Hamer.

U.S. farmers sell a diverse array of organic products, ranging from dairy and meats to fruits, vegetables and grains. The value of sales from livestock and poultry products was $1.9 billion, followed by vegetables at $1.4 billion and fruits, tree nuts and berries at $1.2 billion and field crops, $660 million.

The top five commodities in certified organic sales:

1. Milk, $1.2 billion, up 8.4% from $1.1 billion in 2014.

2. Eggs, $732 million, up 74.5% from $420 million in 2014.

3. Broiler chickens, $420 million, up 13.1% from $371 million in 2014.

4. Apples, $302 million, up 20% from $251 million in 2014.

5. Lettuce, $262 million, down less than 1% from $264 million in 2014.

The first point of sale for 75% of all U.S. organic farms was within 100 miles of the farm. Additionally, 71%  of U.S. certified organic farms and ranches reported selling products to wholesale markets; 36% sold directly to consumers and 22% sold directly to retail markets and institutions.

Source: USDA NASS

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