Certified organic versions of potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberries, and celery are widely available to consumers for the holidays and beyond. But where are these organic crops produced?
Organic potatoes (indicated by the brown State color in the map above) most often come from California, which has 57 percent of U.S. harvested acres, followed by Colorado. Organic sweet potatoes (blue flags on map) come from California and North Carolina, which together have 91 percent of the Nation’s acreage.
The top organic cranberry-producing States (red flags) are Massachusetts, with 66 percent of production, and Wisconsin. The U.S. harvest season for cranberries runs from around mid-September until the end of October, just in time for Thanksgiving.
Organic celery production (green flag) is almost exclusive to California (91 percent of the U.S. crop).
Consumer demand for organically produced food has grown since the 1990s, and certified organic U.S. cropland acres increased by 73 percent from 2011 to 2019, with 3.5 million acres in 2019. USDA implemented national organic standards in 2002 that required certification for all except the smallest (less than $5,000 in sales) organic growers.
Organic farming systems rely on practices such as cultural and biological pest management and prohibit nearly all synthetic chemicals in crop production.