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NASS conducts organic survey

The National Agricultural Statistics Service is conducting the 2016 Certified Organic Survey to gather new data on certified organic crops and livestock commodities in the U.S., the Agricultural Marketing Service said in its Organic Insider newsletter Feb. 15.

"This effort is critical to help determine the economic impact of certified organic agriculture production in the United States," NASS said.

NASS is mailing the survey to all known certified organic farms and ranches within the 50 states. The form asks producers to provide information on acreage, production and sales, as well as production and marketing practices. The agency asks all participants to respond by Feb. 19.

Producers can return their forms by mail or complete the survey online at http://www.agcounts.usda.gov.

"In recent years, U.S. farms and ranches have experienced tremendous growth in certified organic agriculture sales. Last year, NASS reported that U.S. certified organic producers sold a total of $6.2 billion in products in 2015, up 13 percent since 2014," said Adam Cline, NASS Census Section head and member of the USDA Organic Working Group. "As sales from certified organic agriculture products increase, demand for accurate statistics about certified organic farming grows. This survey will be another step forward by USDA in its commitment to helping certified organic agriculture thrive and will ensure that future decisions impacting the industry stem from factual information."

As is the case with all NASS surveys, information provided is confidential by law, NASS pointed out in a Jan. 30 news release. NASS publishes all data in aggregate, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified, as required by federal law.