Houston, 24 August 2023
Mercaris, now an Argus Media company, is pleased to announce the release of its preliminary non-GMO and organic crop acreage data for 2023. These data come after 12 months of volatile prices and elevated supply speculation, and offer Mercaris’ first indications for organic and non-GMO production for the year.
Mercaris’ preliminary estimates suggest USDA-certified organic harvested acreage will decline by nearly 2% over 2023 to 8.1mn, while the total number of certified organic farms could fall below 19,000 for the first time since 2018.
“Certified organic pasture is expected to decline for a second year in a row in the course of 2023, falling by 3% year on year because of reductions across the West region of the US, as well as in Texas and Montana,” Argus Vice-President, Economics Ryan Koory said. “Certified organic land dedicated to non-field crop production is expected to decline by 6% over 2023 as the number of certified organic operations with non-field crop acreage falls across nearly every region in the US.”
But while total organic acreage looks set to decline, total organic field crop production is likely to show modest expansion over 2023, rising by 1% from a year earlier to 3.7mn harvested acres.
Koory said: “Growth in organic field crop acres appears to reflect shifting crop production amid price volatility. Areas dedicated to organic wheat and corn production are expected to increase 7% and 5% respectively over 2023, while a 20% or more increase in organic canola, sunflower, and safflower harvested acres is expected. These gains are expected to occur alongside a 5% reduction in organic soybean harvested area, as organic soybean prices during the 2023 spring planting window were down 26% year on year”.
While certified organic acreage is expected to decline over 2023, land planted with non-GMO corn and soybean seeds is estimated to have increased by 2%. Gains were seen in both US non-GMO corn and soybean planting, which were up by 1% and 3%, respectively, with total planted non-GMO acreage reaching 10.7mn acres during 2023, according to USDA data.