Federal support for organic production systems, including financial assistance for farmers completing the certification process and funding for organic research, has increased in each of the last three farm acts. The Agricultural Act of 2014:
- Expands funding to assist organic producers and handlers with the cost of organic certification. Mandatory funding more than doubles from the 2008 Farm Act’s mandate to $57.5 million over the lifespan of the 2014 Act.
- Continues mandatory funding to improve economic data on the organic sector at $5 million over the lifespan of the Act; another $5 million is added to upgrade the database and technology systems of USDA’s National Organic Program.
- Expands total mandatory organic research funding to $100 million. Authorized funding for the National Organic Program expands to $15 million annually.
- Exempts certified organic producers from having to pay for conventional commodity promotion programs on their organic production, and establishes the option for an organic promotion program.
- Requires improvements in crop insurance for organic producers and strengthens enforcement of organic regulations.
ERS has published highlights and some implications of the 2014 Farm Act’s new programs and provisions on organic agriculture and other topics. Sign up for the ERS Farm Bill e-newsletter to receive notices of topic page updates and other new Farm Bill-related materials on the ERS website.