NSAC's Blog

Organic Farmer Survey Now Underway

February 9, 2016


photo credit: USDA

The 2015 Certified Organic Survey, which collects data on acreage, production, and sales for a variety of certified organic crop and livestock commodities, is now underway via the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Certified organic crop and livestock producers have until February 19, 2016 to submit their data by mail or to complete the survey online. After February 19, NASS will follow up directly with organic producers in order to ensure thorough data collection.

Results from the 2015 Organic Production Survey will be released in September 2016.

Why is the Organic Production Survey Important?

The survey is a critical tool for the organic community because the data collected help guide planning and monitor growth. According to the USDA, the results from these surveys are “also used to help shape decisions regarding farm policy, funding allocations, availability of goods and services, community development and other key issues”. For instance:

  • Survey data on price and sales are used to establish organic price elections for federal crop insurance, ensuring that organic products are not undervalued and farmers can insure the full value of their crop.
  • Organic data is used to improve conservation programs, such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), ensuring that these programs respond adequately to the needs of organic farmers.
  • The data is helpful in capturing broader economic trends for the organic market. For example: By using data from the 2014 Organic Production Survey, NASS was able to identify strong growth trends in the organic market. Total sales of $5.5 billion were reported for organic products that year, an increase of 72 percent since 2008!
  • The Certified Organic Production Survey is the most reliable public source for data on the state of the organic industry. The high data collection standards of NASS ensures that organic producers, researchers, and business can rely on the accuracy of survey information.

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) strongly encourages all organic farmers and livestock producers to contribute to the 2015 survey so that this valuable public information resource will be as accurate and useful as possible.

Categories: Organic

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