USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service is conducting its 2019 survey of certified or transitioning to certified organic farmers, asking for production, marketing, and transitioning information pertaining to their organic operations. The results of the Organic Survey are used by Congress, USDA and sustainable agriculture organizations to make decisions about programs and policies affecting organic producers. More than 22,000 surveys will be mailed.
All respondents will receive survey codes in the mail and will be asked to respond online with their unique code, via the NASS website. The deadline to fill out the survey is Jan. 10, 2020.
Results are expected to be available in October 2020.
The 2019 Organic Survey comes on the heels of the 2017 Census of Agriculture, which was released earlier this year. The 2017 Census of Agriculture found significant growth in the organic sector, including a 39% increase in certified organic operations and increased sales for organic products. The Organic Survey aims to unearth even more data on organic agriculture by taking a deeper dive into several components, including estimates of organic crop production, costs, and management practices. The survey will include questions on acres planted and harvested, livestock produced and sold, expenses, and sales. The last Organic Survey was released in 2014.
The data collected by the survey also helps inform how USDA’s Risk Management Agency can work on developing more organic prices elections for federal crop insurance policies.
Earlier this year, NASS began to solicit feedback on its proposal for the 2019 Organic Survey. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, in partnership with our member organizations at the Organic Farming Research Foundation and the National Organic Coalition, submitted recommendations on how to improve this year’s survey. Our recommendations urged NASS to address several issues important to organic producers, including the challenges of organic contamination, organic production expenses, access to crop insurance and the availability of certified organic seeds.
NSAC also urged NASS to expand crop insurance questions in the survey in order to identify whether organic policies are available for certain crops, and whether crop insurance adjusters and agents are familiar with organic production and insurance policies.