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Organic Acreage In Oregon Increasing, As Smaller Farms Decline

December 17, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
In an interesting paradox that may reflect the impact of the recent recession on small organic farmers, the USDA reports that the number of organic farmers in Oregon dropped 18 percent between 2008 and 2014, but overall organic acreage nearly doubled. Agency experts said there was a “sharp decline” in farms with $25,000 in sales a year or less, but an increase in farms with $250,000. The smaller organic farms may have chosen to drop their organic certification – rather than shut down – when a USDA certification subsidy program lapsed. The 2014 Farm Bill restored the subsidy program. Nevertheless, "The smaller folks are having a harder time and the larger operations are getting bigger," a USDA official said, adding that the problem afflicts agriculture in general.
Mateusz Perkowski, "Oregon's organic acreage up despite drop in organic farmers", San Francisco Gate, December 17, 2015, © Hearst Communications, Inc.
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