*Michigan Organic Listserve: Publications


*Characteristics, Costs, and Issues for Organic Dairy Farming]*


By William D. McBride and Catherine Greene, Economic Research Report No.
(ERR-82) 50 pp, November 2009

Organic milk production has been one of the fastest growing segments of
organic agriculture in the United States in recent years. Despite the
growing number of organic dairy operations, the characteristics of organic
dairy operations and the relative costs of organic and conventional milk
production have been difficult to analyze. This study, using 2005 ARMS data
for U.S. dairy operations, which include a targeted sample of organic milk
producers, examines the structure, costs, and challenges of organic milk
production. The analysis addresses economies of size, regional differences,
and pasture use in organic milk production and compares organic and
conventional milk production costs. The findings suggest that economic
forces have made organic operations more like conventional operations and
that the future structure of the industry may depend on the interpretation
and implementation of new organic pasture rules.

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Marketing U.S. Organic Foods: Recent Trends From Farms to Consumers

By Carolyn Dimitri, and Lydia Oberholtzer, Economic Information Bulletin No.
(EIB-58) 33 pp, September 2009

Organic foods now occupy prominent shelf space in the produce and dairy
aisles of most mainstream U.S. food retailers. The marketing boom has pushed
retail sales of organic foods up to $21.1 billion in 2008 from $3.6 billion
in 1997. U.S. organic-industry growth is evident in an expanding number of
retailers selling a wider variety of foods, the development of private-label
product lines by many supermarkets, and the widespread introduction of new
products. A broader range of consumers has been buying more varieties of
organic food. Organic handlers, who purchase products from farmers and often
supply them to retailers, sell more organic products to conventional
retailers and club stores than ever before. Only one segment has not kept
pace—organic farms have struggled at times to produce sufficient supply to
keep up with the rapid growth in demand, leading to periodic shortages of
organic products.

To view entire publication visit: **<>

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