Indiana growers steer toward organic farming as market booms
Published: March 29, 2022
Category: Organic News
According to the USDA’s 2019 Survey of Organic Agriculture by Commodity.com, the number of organic farms jumped 50% in the last ten years. About 16,500 organic farms now occupy close to 5.5 million acres, a 38% increase from 2008.
While Indiana sits approximately in the middle of those stats, with 600 certified organic farms covering about 43,000 acres, interest among small farms is growing.
“Culture, climate, and infrastructure all play a role,” said Ashley Adair, extension specialist at Purdue University. “I think the biggest obstacle for many folks interested in small scale organic farming is land access. In some places land is expensive and the market is competitive.”
Sam Johnson, Indiana native, moved back to Anderson from Colorado to locate less expensive farmland. He now operates 25 organic acres as well as a composting service—to generate microbial matter that nourishes soil. “The plant won’t give up those carbohydrates without these microbes bringing something in return,” he said. “We try to pay attention to how we’re feeding the bacteria and the fungi because they will mine these minerals and bring them up (to the plants).”
Adair hopes lawmakers will incentivize farmers to adopt organic practices. Last year, the USDA’s Whole Farm Revenue Protection Program added a policy allowing smaller farms—with less than $8.5 million in annual revenue—to insure their operations with a simplified record-keeping system. Support like this will help promote larger local organic food communities.
Source: Yahoo News
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Organic & Non-GMO Insights April 2022