Washington's organic ag production continues to grow

07/30/2014 05:41:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

click image to zoomWashington organic ag productionCourtesy Washington State UniversityProduction and sales of organic agricultural items have continued to grow nationally for the past decade, and Washington state is no exception.

With a farmgate value of $291 million, Washington's organic production ranks second in the United States only to California, according to a news release.

More than 50 percent of Washington's organic farmgate value comes from tree fruit, and eastern Washington has the highest number of organic farms in the state.

Washington State University just released a report detailing organic crop acreage statistics since 2004.

But making comparisons can be difficult because of changes in how sales and yields have been reported over the years. In some cases, organically grown crops are sold into conventional markets, especially in the tree fruit sector.

As a result, the report's authors suggest that at least the sales data should be used as an estimate of total sales.

Nevertheless, the report notes a 22 percent overall growth in certified organic tree fruit acreage from 2006-2013 and a 19 percent overall growth in certified vegetable acres.

But small fruit, grapes and nuts only saw a 5 percent overall growth during the same time period.

Broken down, Washington has 29,642 acres of certified tree fruit, 19,139 acres of certified vegetables and 4,214 certified acres of small fruit, grapes and nuts.

View the complete report at http://csanr.wsu.edu.



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