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A recent study by the Organic Trade Association finds that 82 percent of U.S. households in the lower 48 states buy organic products regularly. The Association says those findings build a strong case for continued U.S. Department of Agriculture funding under incoming secretary Sonny Perdue. Laura Batcha (Bat-cha), CEO and Executive Director of the Association, says, “The organic community is looking forward to working with new leadership coming into the USDA.” She says they’re looking forward to showing how important adequate funding is to keep a strong organic program moving forward and to help organic become a part of healthy diets across the country. Continue reading

organic meat processing
A report from the Organic Farming Research Foundation says the United States lacks enough organic meat processors. In the National Organic Research Agenda Report, the group concluded that although sales of U.S.-produced organic food exceed $6 billion annually, federal funding into organic production has not kept pace. Continue reading

certified organic farmers
The Organic Farmers Association is gaining momentum, according to Politico. The group, organized by the Rodale (roh-dale) Institute, has formed a steering committee and will hold leadership elections early next year. The panel includes 12 voting seats for certified organic farmers and seven non-voting seats for organic farm organizations. The Rodale Institute says the organization has “several hundred members” that it is asking about their lobbying priorities and expects to be active in farm bill discussions. Rodale Institute CEO Jeff Moyer said the startup group gained support last year from organic watchdogs who opposed the Organic Trade Associations’ stance on GMO labeling legislation. Moyer also said many of the farmers he’s talked to are against the Agriculture Department’s organic checkoff program, but the Organic Farmers Association has not yet taken a position on the checkoff issue.

From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.

eating habits
Everett Griner talks about how our eating habits have changed in today’s Agri View. Hear Everett’s report and learn more. →

demand gmo
Rising demand for organic and non-GMO foods led to a sharp rise in organic grain imports last year. A new report by CoBank says U.S. production of non-GMO crops has risen, but domestic production for organic corn and soybeans remains well short of current U.S. demand. Continue reading

fresh organic produce
Cathy Isom has some tips on how to have fresh organic produce during the winter months. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours. Hear Cathy’s report and learn more. →

Rules that would change the production of organic meat are awaiting President Obama’s approval but may run out of time. That means they might not ever go into effect. The High Plains Public Radio website says the proposed rules would clarify current rules and create new standards of care for animals on organic livestock farms. Continue reading

Organic Producers and Handlers May Apply for Certification Cost Share Reimbursements; Expanded Eligibility for Transition and State Certification Cost

organic producers
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that starting March 20, 2017, organic producers and handlers will be able to visit over 2,100 USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices to apply for federal reimbursement to assist with the cost of receiving and maintaining organic or transitional certification. Continue reading

organic products
University of California scientists are seeking certified organic growers to participate in a multistate soil and food-safety study.  The researchers are gathering data to develop national guidelines and best practices for using raw manure to improve soil health while minimizing food-safety risks in organically grown crops such as leafy greens, tomatoes and root vegetables. Continue reading

Napa Valley, California: Hall Wines, Certified Organic vineyard with Bunny foo Foo in the background, May 12 2015 Napa Valley, California.The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced plans to establish a Joint Organic Compliance Committee to enhance cooperation and ensure the integrity of organic products traded between the United States and Mexico.

The committee will be established through a terms of reference signed by the AMS Administrator Elanor Starmer and Enrique Sánchez Cruz, Director in Chief of the National Service for Animal and Plant Health, Food Safety and Quality of Mexico (SENASICA). Continue reading

California Continues to Dominate Organic Sales with $2.4 Billion of $6.2 Billion Nationally

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the results of the 2015 Certified Organic Survey, which show that 12,818 certified organic farms in the United States sold a total of $6.2 billion in organic products in 2015, up 13 percent from $5.5 billion in 2014. California and Wisconsin had the largest number of certified organic farms with 2,637 and 1,205 respectively. Continue reading

from the Organic Stakeholder Work Group

Executive Summary

California Organic Stakeholder Work Group-report-cover
California leads the nation in organic farms, land in organic production, and organic sales.  According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service, organic acreage has grown 46 percent from 2008 to 2014. California alone produced over $2.2 billion in organic agriculture in 2014, accounting for more than 40 percent of the nation’s organic production. Consequently, organic agriculture plays a key role in California’s economy.

The California Organic Foods Act of 1990 created the State Organic Program (SOP) at the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).  That same year the National Organic Program (NOP) was created within USDA and regulations to implement the NOP were completed in 2002. State legislation in 2003 aligned the state and national programs, and chartered CDFA with enforcement of the federal and state regulations.  The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) enforces laws pertaining to processed products marketed as organic. Continue reading

Senators Ask USDA to Address Organic Livestock Rule Concern Before Publishing Rule

organic poultry farm
A group of bipartisan Senators has signed a letter to the Department of Agriculture requesting the agency address concerns with the proposed organic livestock and poultry rule before publishing the regulation. Continue reading

Fresh organic eggs on leaf. Tag with word organic.
A new study by the Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service finds organic eggs have the largest price premiums over their non-organic counterparts. The study estimated price premiums in grocery stores for 17 commonly purchased organic foods relative to their non-organic counterparts from 2004 to 2010. Continue reading

organic symposiumSummaries of presentations from the 2016 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium (OARS) held in Pacific Grove are now available online at Many of the workshops and keynote presentations were recorded live and may be viewed via the eOrganic YouTube channel.

The event, which was co-sponsored by the Organic Farming Research Foundation and UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, covered topics ranging from soil health, seeds, plant breeding, and biological control, to biodiversity, economics, and livestock — all with a focus on organic production. Continue reading

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