By vast

Published: January 29, 2019

Category: Organic News, The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter

The number of organic farms in the United States grew by 56 percent from 2011 to 2016. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, there were 14,000 certified organic farms in the US in 2016 compared to 9,140 in 2011. 

California remains the U.S. leader in the number of organic farms with 2,713 in 2016 and 1.1 million acres, which represented 21 percent of all U.S. certified organic land. But several other states saw dramatic growth in organic farming, particularly in the South.

Following California the only other states with more than 1,000 organic farms were Wisconsin with 1,276 and New York with 1,059.

Six other states had more than 500 organic farms. These included Pennsylvania (803), Iowa (732), Washington (677), Ohio (575), Vermont (556) and Minnesota (545). Maine was close behind with 494 organic farms.

Meanwhile, the South saw the most growth in organic farming since 2011. Arkansas had only 10 organic farms in 2011, but that number jumped to 64 in 2016, an increase of 540 percent. Alabama, South Carolina, and Missouri all saw increases of more than 200 percent since 2011.

Yet, organic farming still accounts for a small share of U.S. farmland. There were 5 million acres of certified organic farmland in 2016 but this represents less than 1 percent of the 911 million acres of total farmland nationwide.

Source: Pew Research Center

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