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Sales from organic farms up 72%: USDA

Sales from organic farms up 72%: USDA

Organic farms sold $5.5 billion in organic products in 2014, an increase of 72% from 2008, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service’s 2014 Organic Survey.

The fastest growing category was livestock and poultry, which saw sales increase 108% to $700 million in 2014. The category includes broiler chickens, milk cows, turkeys, beef cows and other cattle.

Sales of crops grew 69% to $3.3 billion, while sales of livestock and poultry products, such as milk and eggs, rose 66% to $1.5 billion.

The top five products with the most sales in 2014 were: milk ($1.08 billion), eggs ($420 million), broiler chickens ($372 million), lettuce ($264 million) and apples ($250 million).

The majority of organic products — 78% — are sold to wholesale markets, while 14% are sold direct to retail markets and institutions and 8% are sold directly to consumers.

“Producers reported in the 2014 Organic Survey that they expect to expand U.S. organic production in the coming years, making the data even more important for policy and programs. These results will assist with the development of appropriate risk management programs designed to help organic producers,” NASS Administrator Joseph T. Reilly said in a press release.

“The report also shows that organic producers are providing a wide variety of products to customers and are getting those items from farm to table more efficiently.”

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