Do you love eating local, organic produce? If so, you’re not alone! The number of certified organic farms in New York State is rising, and the industry recently received some exciting news!
New York State’s Organic Farms & Sales
New York State has come in third behind California and Wisconsin for number of organic farms, with 917 farms comprising 213,000 acres of land. Sales of organic farm products increased by 56% from 2008 to 2014, with $164 million in sales in 2014.
“Organic farming is not a fad, but a robust sector of our economy,” State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said in a statement. “As demand soars for organic and locally-grown products, New York’s farmers are competing at a national level and preserving our agriculture landscape.”
The number one organic product for the state is actually not a crop, but organic cow milk. Organic cow milk ranked second in the country in both sales and the number of farms – $93.6 million, and 402 respectively, according to the USDA’s 2014 Organic Survey.
Sales of organic crops came to $52.7 million in the state, with vegetables and melons taking the lead, followed by apples, strawberries, and blueberries. Maple syrup is also doing quite well, with New York ranking third in the country for sales.
The data for this report is comprised of information from 2014 – the number of organic farms has actually risen since then, going from 917 in 2014 to 934 in 2015. And, according to the USDA, 43% of organic farmers in New York plan to increase organic production over the next five years.
It’s also worth mentioning, there are many additional farms who are not certified organic, but who practice organic or green farming methods and techniques.
What is Certified Organic?
Products that are labeled with the official Certified Organic seal from the USDA must adhere to strict guidelines and regulations. According to the full report on organic farms, the approved methods of production include “cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity.”
As a consumer, when we purchase organic products we can do so with the confidence of knowing these products were produced using environmentally sound methods, with respect for our land, soil, and farm workers.
For more information on how to support our organic farmers, check out our Organic Living guide! We have information on where you can purchase organic products, along with tips on green living and much more.