Submitted to: American Journal of Alternative Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/20/2002
Publication Date: 12/20/2002
Citation: Jawson, M.D., Bull, C.T. 2002. USDA research into organic farming. American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 17:201-202.
Interpretive Summary: Organic production is a growing sector of the agricultural economy in the United States. Over 1% of all US food and fiber is now grown using organic production systems. This sector has grown by at least 20% annually for the last 9 years. Projections indicate that this is likely to continue. The USDA/ARS has not had a program dedicated to organic agriculture since 1980. However, many individual scientists (approximately 10%) are interested in working in organic systems and several (approximately 5%) have worked in organic agricultural systems. More remains to be done.
Technical Abstract: In response to the demand of consumers for organic products the USDA/ARS has recently conducted a survey evaluating the scientists' interest in organic agriculture as a venue for their research projects. 188 scientists responded that they were interested in this sector of the agricultural economy and approximately 80 scientists have worked with organic growers. Very few scientists were identified that work with animal production while many scientists from integrated agricultural systems were identified. USDA/ARS plans to use this information to direct the future of research in organic production by the ARS.