American farmers harvested almost 3.3 million acres of certified organic field crops in 2019, with that number driven by a 14% increase in organic operations.
Those numbers come from Mercaris, the market data service and online trading platform for organic, non-GMO, and certified agricultural commodities. The company’s final 2019 report shows that the number of growers converting land to organic production escalated significantly throughout 2019, adding to the U.S. organic harvest and offsetting the impact of a wet growing season. Producers harvested 1.1 million acres of organic hay and alfalfa in 2019, up 8% year-over-year with 11% more certified organic operations. The number of certified organic corn operations increased 13% last year, offsetting a significant decline in the number of harvested acres per operation.
The number of certified operations harvesting organic soybeans reached 2,835, up 11%. The amount of harvested organic wheat acres was driven by expansion in the High Plains region, growing 16% in 2019.
A release from Mercaris said, “Despite what can fairly be described as the most difficult growing season in more than a decade, 2019 was a remarkable year for organic production.”
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