A new study released by Mercaris, an organic commodities trading platform, suggests more land and farming operations are converting to organic production.

The Mercaris Commodity Outlook is projecting U.S. harvested organic field crop area will surpass 3.4 million acres, or 19,888 operations, next year, which would be up 4% year over year, according to their data. Their 2020/2021 yield outlook for U.S. organic crops is expected to also improve despite poor planting and harvest conditions in 2019/2020.

“2020 appears to be a clear reflection of this, as many crops are projected to see harvested acres reach record levels this year,” said Ryan Koory, Director of Economics for Mercaris.

The group also foresees an increase in organic livestock production, especially in the turkey sector.

“We estimate the daily rate of organic turkey slaughter jumped 147% over the past year, from 5,600 head per day over August 2019, to 13,800 head per day over August 2020,” Koory said. He noted maintaining August's slaughter rate is proof of significantly expanding total organic turkey slaughter into 2020/21.

Mercaris expects U.S. consumer markets for organic protein will expand next year, but it will depend on the strength of the U.S. economy and consumer demand moving forward.

The firm also found organic corn used for livestock feed is projected to increase 6% year over year due to increased feed demand for organic poultry. Mercaris expects organic soybean crush to rise 13% in 2020/21 as livestock feed demand expands and organic soybean meal imports drop.  

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