Organic farming has grown into big a multi-billion dollar industry around the world, thanks to the promise of high yields and healthy ROI. This type of farming relies heavily on organic fertilizers and modern farming techniques such as biological pest control, crop rotation and mixed cropping among other practices. According to a report published by Yahoo on November 10, organic farming has grown considerably in the US with over 4 million acres of land now devoted to it. The report shows a remarkable 11% increase in land set for organic farming over the figures released in 2014. The country also boasts close to 15,000 certified organic farms, which is a 6% increase over the same 2-year period. The states that lead in this farming practice include California, New York, Wisconsin, Montana and North Dakota.
In California and New York, a total of 688,000 acres of land has been proclaimed for organic farming. Montana and North Dakota are some of the states that have recorded a phenomenal increase in organic farmland over the past 2 years. A report released in 2015 by the Organic Trade Association and published by Yahoo supports this assertion. The report indicates that US recorded 11% increase in the sale of organic products, the 4th consecutive year the country was recording double digit growth. The growth in organic farming in the US is fuelled by the growing consumer demand for organic products and healthy food campaigns in schools and other public institutions. Besides promising sustainable agriculture, studies have also shown that organic crops offer numerous environmental benefits.
The largest organic crops in the country include oats, which account for over 3.5% of the produce grown alongside wheat, soybeans and corn, which account for less than 1% each. When it comes to food quality, organic products are typically more nutritious and flavorful; however, high rates of unmarketability due to blemishes can erode sales and ultimately diminish profitability. In spite of its generally positive outlook and environmental impact, organic farming also comes with its own share of challenges. According to Orgprints.org, the challenges include ecological justice, productivity limitations, fair trade, animal welfare and differences in regional and global standards of harmonization. Most of these challenges can be overcome by adopting flexibility when implementing various regulations.