Development of Washington Organic Producer-Level Database on Crop Yields, Sales Value, and Price
CSANR Project 117
The continued growth in the organic food market presents many Washington growers with the difficult decision of whether to switch from conventional production. While a cost and return estimate (enterprise budget) is a fundamental tool for the considering a new enterprise, information beyond a net return estimate for the “typical” producer is more crucial for organic producers. Net returns are more variable due to greater production and market risks. We initiated a project to capture yield and sales data on six organic crops from WSDA Organic Food Program records to understand the variability of these parameters and create estimates for use in budgets. This proposal requests additional funding to capture additional crops and years of data and construct an electronic database to be used for a range of research and extension purposes that aim at providing more complete information on the economic opportunities and risks from switching to organic farming.
We have focused on publishing a set of WSU Extension Factsheets as the initial outputs. The first report submitted on berries (Raspberry, Strawberry, Blackberry, Blueberry) has been accepted for publication. The second report submitted was an expanded analysis of blueberries, which has been resubmitted after receiving reviewer comments.
Additional Funds Leveraged
We have had significant communication with USDA RMA and are continuing to work with them in the hope they may be able to fund future work related to this project. We are also pursuing cooperative agreements with USDA and plan to apply for additional USDA funded competitive grants.