Federal statistics show sales from Illinois organic farms more than tripled during a five-year period. Annual organic sales from the state’s farms reached $26.2 million in 2012. That’s up from $8.3 million in 2007.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture figures show sales growth came despite the fact that the overall number of farms in the state fell during the same period. The tabulated figures only include farms with at least $5,000 in annual sales that sell USDA-certified organic products.
Kendra Schilling manages the Illinois Products Farmers’ Market, which opens Thursday at the state fairgrounds. She says the data doesn’t include figures from smaller growers who haven’t gone through the certification process. Illinois’ overall crop sales were $14.1 billion in 2012, while livestock sales reached about $3 billion.