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Organic farming profitability detailed in new MDA report

ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has released a new report about the financial performance of organic operations in the state. The report, entitled 2007 Organic Farm Performance in Minnesota, contains data provided by 65 organic farmers enrolled in farm business management courses. To protect the farmers' privacy, the summary does not identify the participating farms.

MDA Organic and Diversification Specialist Meg Moynihan says the report offers detailed information about the cost of production and the profitability of organic agriculture in Minnesota. It contains financial summaries, crop and livestock enterprise analyses, and financial standards measures.

"In the past, there hasn't been much information available about the profitability of organic farming enterprises," Moynihan said. "This report provides some of that information and will help organic farmers make sound business decisions."

Moynihan says the net returns of different organic crops and livestock species are highly variable, so the report will also help farmers who may be contemplating switching to organic farming.

The 36-page, 2007 Organic Farm Performance in Minnesota report was produced jointly by the MDA, the University of Minnesota Center for Farm Financial Management, and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. It is available online at

Scholarships for participating farmers were provided by the United States Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency. Funds to publish the report were contributed by the Organic Farming Research Foundation. Other partners are the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota and Organic Crop Improvement Association Minnesota #1.

Print copies are available by calling 651-201-6012. To generate detailed farm financial data summaries from other types of enterprises and other years, visit