USDA Announces Additional Organic Support Available with New Farm Bill

USDA recently announced new figures that show the organic industry continues to grow domestically and globally, with more than 25,000 certified organic operations in more than 120 different countries around the world.

Through the Agricultural Marketing Service’s National Organic Program, USDA has helped an additional 763 producers become certified organic in 2013, an increase of 4.2% from the previous year. The industry today encompasses a record breaking 18,513 certified organic farms and businesses in the U.S. alone, representing a 245% increase since 2002. The 2013 list of certified USDA organic operations shows an increased rate of domestic growth within the industry, resuming previous trends.

“Consumer demand for organic products has grown exponentially over the past decade. With retail sales valued at $35 billion last year, the organic industry represents a tremendous economic opportunity for farmers, ranchers ,and rural communities,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “New support in the 2014 Farm Bill will enhance USDA’s efforts to help producers and small businesses tap into this market and support organic agriculture as it continues to grow and thrive.”

USDA has a number of new and expanded efforts to connect organic farmers and businesses with resources that will ensure the continued growth of the organic industry domestically and abroad. USDA has signed three major trade agreements on organic products, first with Canada and then with the European Union and Japan.

USDA is also helping organic stakeholdsers access programs that support conservation, provide access to loans and grants, fund organic research and education, and mitigate pest emergencies. Funds are currently available for research projects under the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative to solve critical organic agriculture issues, priorities, or problems. The program also funds research projects to enhance the ability of organic producers and processors to grow and market their products. Additional information is available online, and request for proposals are due by May 8.

Additionally, the recently signed 2014 Farm Bill includes provisions that are a greater support to the organic community, including:

    • $20 million annually for dedicated organic research, agricultural Extension programs, and education. The Cooperative Extension System is a nationwide, non-credit educational network. Every U.S. state and territory has a state office at its land-grant university and a network of local or regional offices staffed by experts that provide useful, practical, and research-based information.
    • $5 million to fund data collection on organic agriculture that will give policymakers, organic farmers, and organic businesses data needed to make sound policy, business, and marketing decisions.
    • Expanded options for organic crop insurance to protect farmers
    • Expanded exemptions for organic producers who are paying into commodity “check off” programs, and authority for USDA to consider an application for the organic sector to establish its own check off.
    • Improved enforcement authority for the National Organic Program to conduct investigations.
    • $5 million for a technology upgrade of the National Organic Program to provide up-to-date information about certified organic operations across the supply chain.
    • $11.5 million annually for certification cost-share assistance, which reimburses the costs of annual certification for organic farmers and livestock producers by covering 75% of certification costs, up to $750 per year.

    Source: USDA news release

Leave a Reply

Fruits Stories
Florida Everglades swamp shot at sunset
Citrus
May 2, 2016
As Hurricane Season Nears, South Florida Going Dry
All basins around the region experience rainfall deficits during April as totals fall far below average. Read More
Harvesting Tips At Kuhn Orchards
Equipment
May 2, 2016
USDA Offers New Loans For Portable Farm Storage, Handling Equipment
Portable equipment can help producers, including small and local farmers, get products to market quickly. Read More
The farmers market at the play market at Meadows Maze at Hopcott Farm
Farm Management
May 2, 2016
USDA Unveils New Urban Agriculture Toolkit
For urban farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs, the toolkit is an electronic document that helps users navigate more than 70 resources, including technical assistance and financing opportunities. Read More
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Apples & Pears
May 1, 2016
USApple Debuts New Website
Industry group says new site is responsive to different formats, designed to be more consumer and industry friendly. Read More
apple tree trellising washington state
Apples & Pears
April 28, 2016
Cracks In Your Orchard’s Infrastructure Expose Bigger Flaws
Modern blocks can increase your production, but if your training system is shoddy, you could see major losses. Read More
Brandt logo
Citrus
April 28, 2016
Brandt Acquires Majority Interest In Utah-Based Baicor
Baicor will operate as a subsidiary in Brandt’s specialty formulations division. Read More
workers bending
Fruits
April 28, 2016
Knowing Role, Expectations Beneficial To Your Staff
Labor management is much more than just delegation. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
May 4, 2016
$6 Million Available For Antimicrobial R…
Program to develop strategies to reduce public health risks in food chain. Read More
Fruits
May 3, 2016
How To Build A Better Beetle Trap
UF/IFAS study on luring, snaring the notorious redbay ambrosia beetle earns prestigious award. Read More
Citrus
May 2, 2016
As Hurricane Season Nears, South Florida…
All basins around the region experience rainfall deficits during April as totals fall far below average. Read More
Equipment
May 2, 2016
USDA Offers New Loans For Portable Farm …
Portable equipment can help producers, including small and local farmers, get products to market quickly. Read More
Farm Management
May 2, 2016
USDA Unveils New Urban Agriculture Toolk…
For urban farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs, the toolkit is an electronic document that helps users navigate more than 70 resources, including technical assistance and financing opportunities. Read More
Citrus
April 28, 2016
Brandt Acquires Majority Interest In Uta…
Baicor will operate as a subsidiary in Brandt’s specialty formulations division. Read More
Fruits
April 28, 2016
Knowing Role, Expectations Beneficial To…
Labor management is much more than just delegation. Read More
Fruits
April 28, 2016
USDA Establishes New Partnership To Link…
Minority, women, new and beginning, military, veteran, and urban producers to receive training and information on agency services. Read More
Citrus
April 27, 2016
Meet Florida’s New Crop Of Agricultural …
Annual award program recognizes farmers practicing environmentally innovative techniques. Read More
Fruits
April 27, 2016
It’s Time To Rethink Grade Standards For…
Food waste is largely dictated by limiting produce standards. Read More
Fruits
April 27, 2016
Common Sense On Immigration [Opinion: On…
We need a guest worker program if we’re going to feed America and ensure our national security. Read More
Citrus
April 26, 2016
Deception Is A Dish Best Never Served [O…
Recent mainstream media kerfuffle over local food legitimacy stirs up the need for more clearly defined terms, better awareness among consumers. Read More
Fruits
April 26, 2016
New Study Finds Traditional Migrant Work…
Ball State University research shows many of the agricultural migrant workers of the past just aren’t migrating any more. Read More
Citrus
April 26, 2016
Farm Bureau Says Labor Visa Backlogs Thr…
Agency calls for swifter processing of paperwork so growers' requests for crews can be met. Read More
Fruits
April 25, 2016
Avocados Emerging As Attractive Alternat…
Researchers vetting viability of commercial production in the Indian River region. Read More
Fertilizer
April 25, 2016
FDA Extends Comment Period On Using Raw …
The assessment will be designed to evaluate the risk that the use of raw manure as fertilizer on produce crops may pose for consumer health.   Read More
Cucurbits
April 23, 2016
Award-Winning Interactive Music Video Pr…
Funded by the National Watermelon Promotion Board, the video was produced in support of the rock and roll nutrition show, Jump With Jill. Read More
Citrus
April 22, 2016
Happy Trails To A Great Researcher, Bett…
Dr. Brian Boman worked with growers to examine their nutrient and water use and how practices could be modified to not only lessen environmental impacts, but also increase growers’ profitability. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]