California Organic Crop Sales Surpassed $10 Billion in 2018, New CDFA Report Shows

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The Agricultural Statistics Review released annually by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) includes organic data for the first time.
 
The organic section of Agricultural Statistics Review reports producer, handler, and processor gross sales by county for 2018 and harvested acreage of 29 crop categories by county.
 
Kern County was the top organic county in 2018 with over $782 million in sales. Monterey County was second with $480 million, and Fresno County third with $299 million. Collectively, California counties produced over $10 billion of organic agricultural products in 2018. 
 
Combined with the $15.5 billion value of organic processed products in 2019 as reported by the California Dept. of Public Health (CDPH), the organic sector in California is worth over $25.5 billion annually and growing every year.
 
California organic acreage exceeded 5.6 million acres, with the majority of those acres planted to “other nut crops” (all nuts excluding almonds) at 2.7 million acres, beef cattle range at over 700,000 acres, and pome fruit (apples and pears) at 552,000 acres.
 
The organic data in the Agricultural Statistics Review were provided by the CDFA side of the California State Organic Program and includes both certified organic operations and operations that are exempt from certification because they have $5,000 or less in organic sales annually. Both certified and exempt operations are required to register with the State Organic Program.
 
Most organic processors in the state are required to register with CDPH, which oversees the portion of the State Organic Program that regulates organic processed products. However, CDFA registers operations that process and sell dairy products and minimally processed meats sold in an unfrozen state. 
 
For more detail on which organic operations are required to register with CDFA and which are required to register to CDPH, consult this list.

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