"Bipartisan Bill Might Seed the Future of Organic Farming"

"Advocates on both sides of the aisle say doubling funding for the USDA’s organic research program will help farmers meet demand and remain competitive."

"The last Farm Bill cost taxpayers an estimated $489 billion. But less than 1 percent of that funding was spent on agricultural research. And a tiny piece of that 1 percent went specifically to organic agriculture research, via the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI).

In fact, Maine representative Chellie Pingree, herself a farmer and advocate for organic farming practices, said her staff dug into the math and found that tiny piece is equal to less than one-tenth of 1 percent.

Meanwhile, the gulf between demand for organic food and the amount being produced by American farmers continues to grow: Organic now accounts for more than 5 percent of total food sales, but despite increases, organic farmland still represents less than 1 percent of total farm acreage in the U.S. One recent report found that 25 percent of organic corn and 75 percent of organic soybeans used in the country are imported."

Lisa Held reports for Civil Eats December 12, 2017.

Source: Civil Eats, 12/12/2017