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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1137: International Symposium on Innovation in Integrated and Organic Horticulture (INNOHORT)

An analysis of yields, revenues, and prices for select organic fruits and vegetables in Washington State, USA

Authors:   D. Granatstein, E. Kirby, M. Brady
Keywords:   organic yields, vegetables, blueberry, apple, pear
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1137.43
Abstract:
As demand for organic fruits and vegetables continues to grow in the USA, growth in domestic supply has not kept up. This has led to an increase in the organic premium that is generating interest from potential new entrants into organic farming. However, many of them, particularly those that have no background in farming, lack the financial information to evaluate this production option. A study of actual sales and production by certified organic farms in Washington State, USA, showed a wide range in organic horticultural crop yield in comparison with conventional. Crops such as juice grapes and onions yielded as well as or better than the conventional benchmark, while raspberries, hops and snap beans yielded much less. Yield, price, and revenue varied by crop, grower size, market channel, and geographic region. For blueberry, organic yields in central Washington were higher than in western Washington and appeared comparable to conventional yields. Also, simple non-parametric methods were used to characterize yield and price distributions, in contrast with average values used in most published comparisons of organic and conventional yields. The study also estimated the statewide farmgate value of specific organic horticultural crops for the first time.

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