March 23, 2015
There are just two weeks left for organic farmers across the country to complete their 2014 Organic Production Survey! This important survey is a follow-on to the 2012 Census of Agriculture and focuses exclusively on issues and trends facing organic producers.
NSAC encourages organic producers to participate by filling out the survey they received by mail or by responding through NASS’s online survey portal, to ensure that farmers, policymakers, and other organic stakeholders have access to the most comprehensive and timely information on the current state of our country’s organic sector.
This survey was mandated by a provision of the Fiscal Year 2014 omnibus funding bill that NSAC advocated for and supported, and continues data collection efforts on the organic sector that began with the first-ever national organic survey conducted over six years ago.
This survey is especially critical to organic farmers and the organic industry as a whole because it is one of the few reliable sources that provides important and comprehensive trend data on the growth, trends, challenges, and opportunities facing the organic industry within the United States. The last time this survey was conducted was 2008, and by conducting the survey again with the same list of questions, NASS, policymakers and other data users (including farmers themselves) will be able to better identify developments and opportunities for growth in organic production.
To read more about the importance of data to the organic sector, check out our previous blog post.
The types of questions asked by the 2014 Organic Survey include:
This information not only helps the organic industry identify trends that will inform planting and other decisions, but it also helps researchers and organizations representing organic producers identify where additional resources and research are needed. Without this important data, organic producers are at a disadvantage compared with their conventional counterparts.
The data collected by this survey will also help USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) as it seeks to develop more organic prices elections for federal crop insurance policies. Organic price elections on additional crops will allow organic producers to insure their crops at the full organic price, which is often well above the conventional price. RMA also needs organic production data in order to establish new crop insurance products that are specifically tailored to organic farmers. Finally, this survey will collect data losses associated with GMO material being present in organic crops.
The survey has been sent to all known organic producers, exempt organic producers, and those transitioning to organic.
Organic farmers can either complete and return the paper version they have already received in the mail or they can fill out an online version using the ID number on the mailing label.
Producers have until April 3, 2015 to complete the online version of the survey.
The results of the 2014 Organic Survey will be available in August 2015.