Organic farms in the U.S. more than doubled their sales between 2011 and 2016, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center. In 2011, American farms and ranches sold $3.5 billion worth of organic products, as compared to nearly $7.6 billion in 2016.
The number of certified organic farms in the U.S. also grew over the same period, increasing 56 percent to more than 14,000 certified organic farms in 2016, according to the USDA’s National Agriculture Statistics Service.
Vermont boasts the highest percentage of organic farmland of any U.S. state, with its 134,000 certified organic acres representing 11 percent of the state’s total farmland. California, meanwhile, has the most organic land in the nation, at nearly 1.1 million acres, or 4 percent of its total farmland. California's organic farms represent 21 percent of all certified organic acres in the U.S.
The report noted particularly strong growth in the South: Arkansas went from just 10 organic farms in 2011 to 64 in 2016. Alabama, South Carolina, and Missouri, meanwhile, each more than doubled their organic farmland over the same period.
Despite this undeniable growth, certified organic acreage still makes up less than one percent of all American farmland.
In 2017, the Organic Trade Association estimated the organic retail market in the U.S. at $45.2 billion. A report released last January by Technavio noted that the organic food and beverage market is expected to grow at a rate of 14 percent until 2021.
The health benefits of consuming organic food have been highlighted by a number of studies, including one 2017 research review that found that organic produce, milk, and meat all boasted superior health benefits over conventional. A 2017 Nielsen report found that 82 percent of American families regularly stock organic food at home.
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