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
GrapesFirst Raisin Grape That Dries Naturally On Vine Developed
March 26, 2015
The new Sunpreme variety eliminates the need for growers to cut into woody canes before harvest. Read More
Fresh From Florida Strawberry Parfait recipe
BerriesNew Partnership Sends Florida Strawberries To Puerto Rico
March 26, 2015
Latest addition extends Sunshine State’s agricultural export reach in the Caribbean. Read More
drought management; irrigation; water management
FruitsHow To Become A Soil Sleuth
March 26, 2015
To correctly apply the proper nutrients at the right rates, you need to know where your fields are deficient and how to correctly diagnose a disorder. Read More
Cold ProtectionWind Machine, Electric Pruners Donated To MSU Research Center
March 25, 2015
New equipment to help protect research blocks from frost damage and provide center with latest technology. Read More
CitrusProposed Farm Bill Provision To Limit Payments To Non-Farmers
March 25, 2015
USDA has proposed a new rule which would limit payment to those who are only actively engaged in farming. Read More
Pennsylvania hard cider guild logo
Apples & PearsPennsylvania Hard Cider Producers Founded Independent Trade Organization
March 25, 2015
The Pennsylvania Cider Guild is designed to help promote and educate members and consumers. Read More
FruitsHow To Get Started With Partnerships And Sponsorships
March 25, 2015
Mark Saunders of Saunders Farm says your business is never too small or too big to get more value for what you do on your farm. Read More
The Latest
FruitsAhead Of The Curve, Part 2
March 27, 2015
Get educated with great resources in the tree fruit industry available at your fingertips. Read More
drought management; irrigation; water management
FruitsHow To Become A Soil Sleuth
March 26, 2015
To correctly apply the proper nutrients at the right rates, you need to know where your fields are deficient and how to correctly diagnose a disorder. Read More
Cold ProtectionWind Machine, Electric Pruners Donated To MSU Research …
March 25, 2015
New equipment to help protect research blocks from frost damage and provide center with latest technology. Read More
CitrusProposed Farm Bill Provision To Limit Payments To Non-F…
March 25, 2015
USDA has proposed a new rule which would limit payment to those who are only actively engaged in farming. Read More
FruitsHow To Get Started With Partnerships And Sponsorships
March 25, 2015
Mark Saunders of Saunders Farm says your business is never too small or too big to get more value for what you do on your farm. Read More
FruitsValue Through Partnerships And Sponsorships [Opinion]
March 25, 2015
Mark Saunders of Saunders Farms says admission is one way to get value for what you do, but sponsorships and partnerships are the next level. Read More
FruitsWorld Ag Expo 2015: New Tools For Fruit Growers
March 24, 2015
From wind machines to solar-powered pumps, here is some of the new equipment on display this year's edition of the nation's largest farm show. Read More
FruitsRare Leafhopper Found In Shipment At Delaware Port
March 24, 2015
This is the second time this pest has been discovered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists. Read More
FruitsNew Pome, Citrus Thinning Tool Approved
March 24, 2015
Refine plant growth regulator receives federal registration. Read More
CitrusFarm Bureau Says WOTUS Rule Would Ignore Exemptions
March 24, 2015
Common farming practices may be vulnerable to Clean Water Act enforcement under the rule. Read More
FruitsUC-Davis Seed Biotech Center Receives Funds For Continu…
March 24, 2015
The university received $500,000 in funds toward a $2.5 million goal from seed company Limagrain. Read More
FruitsTips For Pear Psylla Management
March 24, 2015
Dormant oil applications should start as growers begin to experience warmer, mild weather. Read More
FruitsBiocontrols Event Draws Rave Reviews
March 23, 2015
Conference devoted to discussion of biological means to control pests and diseases held last month in Fresno, CA. Read More
brown marmorated stink bug dog search team
FruitsUSDA Uses Man’s Best Friend To Track Stink Bug
March 23, 2015
It's all paws on deck to find brown marmorated stink bug's overwintering sites. Read More
CitrusCalifornia Unveils $1 Billion Drought Package
March 23, 2015
Governor, legislative leaders, announce $1 billion emergency drought legislation. Read More
CitrusFeed A Bee Campaign Aims To Plant 50 Million Flowers
March 23, 2015
Bayer CropScience announces program to increase forage opportunities for critical pollinators. Read More
Florida organic strawberry research
FruitsParry America Aims To Boost Biopesticide Business Via S…
March 19, 2015
Brian Dockery tapped to drive growth of company’s specialty crop sector. Read More
Giant African Land Snail
CitrusFlorida To Get $7.3 Million To Fight Agricultural Pests…
March 19, 2015
Federal Farm Bill funding will bolster surveillance, detection, and identification of invasive threats to crops. Read More