U.S. organic grain acreage has increased more than 30 percent over 2016 estimates, and the total number of certified organic farms in the U.S. has increased to 17,188 - 15 percent higher than last year’s total, according to the 2017 Organic and Non-GMO Acreage Report released November 7 by Mercaris.
More specifically, organic corn and soybean certifications grew at a much more accelerated rate than for other crops, at 17 percent and 26 percent respectively. For comparison, hay and alfalfa saw a certification increase of only 1 percent.
These numbers are reflective of an industry segment that is in the process of maturing, and is indicative of larger organic grain crops in the offing for 2017 and 2018 - good news especially for the animal feed sector.
Even with these significant increases, Ryan Koory, senior economist with Mercaris told FoodNavigator-USA that there is still decades of opportunity for growth, stating that demand for high quality and healthy food will continue to be steady, and the point where organic grain supply and demand will equalize remains 15 or 20 years in the future.
Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at firstname.lastname@example.org.