MERIC NEWS LETTER

Audrain County Tops Missouri in Organic Farm Production

Missouri Organic FarmAccording to the 2008 National Agricultural Statistics Service, Missouri ranked 20th in the nation for organic farm production. The state’s 197 farms totaled 30,195 acres and produced $9.3 million in sales. County data from the 2007 Census of Agriculture showed Audrain county led all Missouri counties with 7 farms and 1,352 acres of organic production generating $319,000 in sales.

2007 Census of Agriculture Survey
The top counties in Missouri for organic sales were Audrain ($319,000), Pettis ($179,000), Sullivan ($164,000), Vernon ($149,000) and Holt ($144,000). The county with the largest number of organic farms in Missouri was Clinton County with 12 farms.

2007 Census of Agriculture
Top Missouri Organic Producing Counties
Area Organic Farms Acreage Sales
Audrain 7 1,352 $319,000.00
Pettis 5 699 $179,000.00
Sullivan 9 600 $164,000.00
Vernon 10 787 $149,000.00
Holt 3 764 $144,000.00
McDonald 6 362 $89,000.00
Linn 8 584 $86,000.00
Lafayette 9 297 $64,000.00
Gentry 7 704 $63,000.00
Carroll 5 305 $53,000.00
Callaway 6 298 $29,000.00
Boone 10 356 $28,000.00
Maries 7 134 $13,000.00
Clinton 12 346 $4,000.00

Missouri Organic Farm Map

The complete 2007 Census of Agriculture Organic Survey Results may be found at: http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Online_Highlights/Organics/

2008 National Agricultural Statistics Service Organic Production Survey

The 2008 Organic Production Survey is a follow-on survey to the 2007 Census of Agriculture. It is the first organic production and practices survey conducted on the national level by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

According to the 2008 National Agricultural Statistics Service Organic produce sales include not only vegetables
, but fruits, berries, nuts, florticulture and bedding crops, christmas trees, livestock, poultry and mushrooms.

Organic VeggiesCalifornia led the nation with 3,155 farms and 368,934 acres in organic production totalling almost 20 percent of the nation's organic production. Also leading organic sales was California with 1.15 billion in sales. Missouri ranked 20th in the nation for organic farm production. Missouri's 197 farms totaled 30,195 acres and produced 9.3 million dollars in sales.


Most of the nation's organic producers sold their products locally with 44 percent of sales taking place less than 100 miles from the farm where the produce was grown. Nearly 83 percent of organic production were to wholesale channels including packers, millers and processors. Just over 10 percent were sold to retail operations. Sales direct to consumers comprised 7 percent of sales.

Missouri's produce farms numbered 58 with 313 acres producing $244,570 in sales. Top organic produce grown in Missouri included tomatoes, other vegetables, potatoes, lettuce, squash and peppers.

2008 NASS Organic Survey
Missouri Top Organic Produce 
Produce Farms Acreage Sales
Tomatoes 37 9 $30,941.00
Other Vegetables 24 37 $104,578.00
Potatoes 19 9 $33,809.00
Lettuce 17 4 $6,461.00
Squash 17 24 $10,310.00
Peppers 14 3 $4,798.00
Spinach 12 (D) $4,520.00
Sweet Corn 12 7 $1,592.00
Garlic 10 (D) $8,575.00
D - Withheld to avoid disclosing data for individual farms.

The complete 2008 NASS Organic Production Survey is available at: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Newsroom/2010/02_03_2010.asp.

ORGANIC DEFINITION
Organic food must be produced without the use of conventional pesticides, petroleum-based fertilizers, sewage sludge-based fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, genetic engineering (biotechnology), antibiotics, growth hormones, or irradiation.

Animals raised on an organic operation must be fed organic feed and given access to the outdoors. Land must have no prohibited substances applied to it for at least 3 years before the harvest of an organic crop.

The National Organic Standard became law on October 21, 2002. The law states that all farms and handling operations that display the “USDA Organic” seal must be certified by a State or private agency that ensures the National Organics Standards are followed.

Farms that follow the National Organic Standards and have less than $5,000 in annual sales can be exempt from certification. These exempt farms can use the term “organic” but cannot use the “USDA Organic” seal.

Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service Organic 2008 Survey,USDA Census of Agriculture, 2007

                               

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