The number of organic dairies is on the rise, or so says a new report by the USDA entitled “Characteristics, Costs and Issues for Organic Dairy Farming.”
In 2000, there was an annual average of 38,000 certified organic cows in the U.S., but by 2005 that number rose to 86,000.
But having an organic dairy farm isn’t easy, and it doesn’t come cheap.
Taking a regular dairy and turning it into an organic farm is a lot work, involving improved land and crop management, animal care, and lots of certification paperwork.
But the biggest challenge to small organic dairies could be pressure from larger companies. Most organic dairy farms have fewer than 50 cows, while big organic dairies have over 200 cows, and dominate the market.
So organic dairy farming may be pressured into getting larger and larger, like traditional milk production, which could be Pandora’s box waiting to happen.
Image credit: rawmilktruth.com