USDA grants support organic agriculture research
In fiscal year 2013, ORG priorities included determining "ecosystem services", i.e., environmental benefits, provided by organic farming systems in the area of soil conservation and climate change mitigation, including reduction of greenhouse gases. In addition, ORG helps develop educational tools for Cooperative Extension personnel and other agricultural professionals who advise producers on organic practices. ORG also supports the organic industry to develop appropriate practices and materials to correspond with the National Organic Program's National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. More information on the program may be found online at www.nifa.usda.gov/fo/organictransitionsprogram.cfm.
Since the late 1990s, U.S. organic production has grown significantly. U.S. producers are increasingly turning to certified organic farming systems as a potential way to decrease reliance on nonrenewable resources, capture high-value markets and premium prices, and boost farm income. Today, more than two-thirds of U.S. consumers buy organic products at least occasionally, and 28 percent buy organic products weekly.
Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. More information is at www.nifa.usda.gov.