Organic Farming in US Jumps 56 Percent Over 5-Year Period

The number of certified organic farms in the United States increased 11 percent in 2016 to 14,217 from the previous year, according to the latest available data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Service, and has gone up 56 percent since 2011.

Sales of certified organic products have also skyrocketed in recent years, as American farms and ranches sold nearly $7.6 billion in certified organic goods in 2016, more than double the $3.5 billion in sales in 2011, the Pew Research Center reported.

Despite the vast growth, organic farming still makes up only less than one percent of U.S. farmland overall.

Vermont is the state with the highest percentage of its farmland being organic, at 11 percent.

California, Maine and New York followed in largest shares of organic acreage, with each of those states registering organic acres at 4 percent of total farmland.

According to the Pew report, 39 percent of American adults say that most or some of the food they eat is organic, while 61 percent say not too much or none of their food is organic. 

Fifty-one percent of adults say organic produce is neither better nor worse than conventionally grown foods, while 45 percent say organic produce is better.

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