A report from the University of Minnesota, the state university system and the Minnesota Agriculture Department, found that the average profit on 45 organic farms in the state in 2007 was almost $59,000, nearly double over the year before.
Meg Moynihan, of the state agriculture department, who helped write the report, said the popularity of organic food is so strong that shortages have developed. She said there’s not enough corn, soybeans and other feed grains available to produce organic meat and dairy products.
“Which is good news for the feed grain producers in the Midwest, meaning there’s more market opportunity for them,” Moynihan said. “But bad news for the organic dairy and hog and beef producers that are purchasing grain because of course then their feed bills are so much higher if they can’t raise those themselves.”
Farmers who raised organic grain saw profits increase tenfold over 2006 from just over $8,000 a farm to more than $80,000. Corn, driven by livestock demand, was a star performer, averaging about $8.50 a bushel. By comparison, conventional farmers got about $3.70 a bushel for their corn.
Organic dairy farmers, though, suffered from the high priced grain, because their feed cost more. The report said their profits dropped 15 percent in 2007.