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U.S. Organic Field Crop Acreage Grows, Non-GMO Acreage Declines

U.S. acreage of organic field crops is on the rise, while acreage of non-GMO corn and soybeans in on the decline, according to data compiled by Mercaris, a tracker of the identity-preserved grain industry.

Under the USDA’s National Organic Program, the number of certified organic farms in the country increased by 3 percent in 2018 to 17,648, and organic acreage increased by 2 percent this year to a total 6.5 million acres.

A main driver of this expansion is rising demand for organic animal feed, and organic corn and soybeans are expected to account for 1.2 million acres of total U.S. organic acreage in 2018. Broken down, the number of organic corn farms saw a year-on-year increase of 4 percent, with organic corn acreage increasing by 2 percent. While organic soybean farms increased by 7 percent year-on-year, with notable gains in production being made in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and Missouri.

Overall non-GMO acreage declined by 5 percent this year, dropping to 12.1 million acres. Total non-GMO soybean acreage fell by 7 percent year-on-year, with Missouri seeing the largest decline, while Illinois’ non-GMO corn acreage falling by a significant 39 percent.

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