USDA to Conduct First Wide-Scale Survey of Organic Farming

This spring, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will conduct the first-ever, wide-scale survey of organic farming in the nation.

The survey will look at many aspects of organic farming during the 2008
calendar year–from production and marketing practices, to income and
expenses. It will focus not only on operations that are currently
engaged in organic production, but also on those making the transition
to organic agriculture.

The results will help shape future decisions regarding farm policy,
funding allocations, availability of goods and services, community
development and other key issues, USDA said.

In addition, the information may help
producers make informed decisions about the future of their own farming
operations.

The 2007 Census of Agriculture counted more than 20,000 U.S. farms engaged in organic production.

"The Organic Production Survey is a direct response to the growing interest in organics among consumers, farmers, and businesses," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "This is an opportunity for organic producers to share their voices and help ensure the continued growth and sustainability of organic farming in the United States."

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will mail the survey in early May to all known organic producers in the United States, who are asked to respond by June 17. NASS will publish results in winter 2009.

Participants can mail back their forms or complete the survey online.

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