NC Commissioner Troxler: Organic Production Continues to Grow in NC

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service recently released results of the 2019 Organic Survey, which showed total North Carolina sales of organic farm products at $369.8 million, up $224.9 million from 2016. The largest area of increase was with livestock and poultry.

  • Organic production in North Carolina is on the rise and the latest results from the 2019 Organic Survey by the National Agricultural Statistics Service prove that.
  • Total North Carolina sales of organic products increased to $369.8 million, up $224.9 million since 2016. The biggest jump was seen in livestock and poultry, which increased to $221.3 million from $8 million.
  • According to the survey, there were 347 certified organic farms, accounting for 42,740 acres. That’s 100 more certified farms and nearly 11,000 acres of organic production.
  • These are encouraging numbers and I expect this segment of the industry will continue to grow steadily.
  • 23 percent of those interviewed said they intend to increase their level of production. More than 30 certified farms have nearly 8,500 additional acres that are transitioning to organic.
  • Many of your listeners may know that it is not a quick process to become certified organic farm. It is actually a three-year process to shift from conventional production to organic. The land can be certified following that three-year transition by meeting the USDA’s National Organic Program standards.
  • There were 21 farms that are not currently certified that reported 710 acres transitioning into organic production.
  • Farmers sold $6.8 million in organic products directly to retail markets, institutions and local and regional food hubs. Around $1 million was sold to consumers at farmers markets, on-farm stores and stands, roadside stands, community supported agriculture shares or online.
  • As we work to meet consumer demand, I have often said it will take all types and sizes of farm operations to feed the world. Organic production represents a good opportunity for some farms.
  • I am pleased to see growing consumer support of organic production, and I am happy to also see that farmers are looking to increase production going forward.