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
Cannabis plant closeup
Citrus
July 28, 2016
Florida’s Medicinal Cannabis Venture Officially Open For Business
The state’s first dispensary of product comes online in Tallahassee, others waiting for the green light. Read More
IFTA Summer Tour New York 34
Apples & Pears
July 28, 2016
Seeing The Real Big Apple On The Nation’s Most Prominent Fruit Tour
Hot temperatures, lack of precipitation, mechanization, and high density production systems were among the highlights of the International Fruit Tree Association’s annual study tour. Read More
Andrew (left) and Steve Beilstein use an air dancer, pictured in the background, as a bird-scaring device at The Blueberry Patch in Lexington, OH.  (Photo credit: Gary Gao)
Berries
July 27, 2016
Bird Damage Plagues Most Fruit Growers
There’s no silver bullet, but here are several techniques to annoy and deter birds. Read More
precision ag vision conference
Citrus
July 27, 2016
Ag Tech Is Hot On Horticulture; Get A Handle On What This Means For You
As evidenced by the recent AgTech Summit hosted by Forbes magazine in Salinas, CA, action in precision farming and the Read More
cash money in hand
Citrus
July 27, 2016
Stockholders OK Dow, DuPont Merger
Companies intend to separate into three, independent companies. Read More
Tall Spindle Axe featured
Stone Fruit
July 26, 2016
Take A Closer Look At The Tall Spindle Axe Training System
One of the more traditional three-dimensional canopies, Tall Spindle Axe data shows consistent early and sustained yields. Read More
Workers picking in a Florida strawberry field
Berries
July 26, 2016
Wish Farms Commits $100K To Food Safety Cause
Central Florida berry operation will donate $20,000 annually over the next five years to fund various research projects backed by the Center for Produce Safety. Read More
The Latest
Fruits
July 30, 2016
Don’t Worry About What You Can’t Control…
Wacky weather has kept you on your toes this year, but there’s no sense in trying to prevent the unpreventable. Read More
Fruits
July 30, 2016
Drought Parches Eastern Parts Of U.S.
Conditions worsen in Massachusetts and New York. Read More
Farm Management
July 29, 2016
Obama Signs GMO Labeling Law
The law is praised by major grower groups because it avoids a patchwork of state laws and provides clarity going forward. Read More
Citrus
July 28, 2016
Florida’s Medicinal Cannabis Venture Off…
The state’s first dispensary of product comes online in Tallahassee, others waiting for the green light. Read More
Citrus
July 27, 2016
Ag Tech Is Hot On Horticulture; Get A Ha…
As evidenced by the recent AgTech Summit hosted by Forbes magazine in Salinas, CA, action in precision farming and the Read More
Citrus
July 27, 2016
Stockholders OK Dow, DuPont Merger
Companies intend to separate into three, independent companies. Read More
Fruits
July 26, 2016
Popular Spanish-Speaking Fruit Summer To…
Second-annual tour designed to educate Spanish-speaking employees or farmworkers on fruit growing practices. Read More
Crop Protection
July 25, 2016
Study: GMO Ban Would Hurt Economy And En…
Food prices and greenhouse gas emissions would rise, according to paper by Purdue University agricultural economist. Read More
Farm Management
July 25, 2016
Seven Reasons You Need To Attend The Uni…
Education sessions and Capitol Hill visits will focus on key issues, such as labor, facing the fresh produce industry. Read More
Crop Protection
July 25, 2016
Organic Insect Control Product Available…
The mycoinsecticide is EPA registered and controls a variety of insect pests. Read More
Citrus
July 21, 2016
Farm Labor Delays Taking Toll On Crops […
When it comes down to it, we have a choice to make. We either have to import our labor, or we'll have to import our food. Read More
Citrus
July 20, 2016
My First Trip To Cuba Proves Fruitful
The five-day journey was enlightening, providing participants with a better perspective of the state of agriculture in this country 90 miles off Florida’s coast. Read More
Citrus
July 19, 2016
Funds Allocated To Address Impact Of Cli…
NIFA announces $8.4 for study and development of new approaches to mitigate effects of climate change. Read More
Citrus
July 18, 2016
USDA Awards More Than $26 Million For Af…
The funding is to support more than 400 rental units in four states. Read More
Business Planning
July 18, 2016
Financial Fortitude Key For Small Farm S…
Local threats like citrus greening create additional challenges for many of Florida's more modest enterprises. Read More
Citrus
July 18, 2016
Bayer Ups Bid To Buy Monsanto
Reports indicate new offer at nearly $65 billion. Read More
Farm Management
July 14, 2016
House Passes GMO Labeling Legislation
The measure will be sent to President Obama, who is expected to sign the bill into law. Read More
Citrus
July 14, 2016
Look Up! Farming’s Future Is Comin…
FAA's recent ruling regarding unmanned aircraft systems is good news for business. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]