IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/b/ags/hawall/134120.html
   My bibliography  Save this book

The Economics of Organic Grain and Soybean Production in the Midwestern United States

Author

Listed:
  • Welsh, Rick

Abstract

Organic agriculture offers expanding market opportunities for many farmers, processors, distributors, and retailers in the food system (Anton Dunn, 1997a; 1997b). The recent launch of an organic breakfast cereal line by General Mills, complete with a multi-million dollar advertizing budget, exemplifies the expansion. Filling those cereal boxes likely means more organic grain and soybeans from u.s. farmers, many of them in the Midwest. But, is organic production a profitable alternative for the region's farmers? A growing body of research sheds new light on the answer. This report synthesizes and interprets economic studies of organic grain and soybean production by midwestern universities. The central conclusion is that organic production systems are competitive with the most common conventional production systems. Indeed, if farmers obtain current market premiums for organic grains and soybeans, their organic production generally delivers higher profits than non-organic grain and soybean production. The answer for any individual farmer depends, of course, on his or her particular situation. However, the main finding passes the commonsense test. By all accounts, the acreage of organic production is increasing nationwide, as well as in the Midwest. Will the estimated higher profitability of organic grain and soybean production hold, relative to conventional production, as the industry expands? Farmers who face the decision to invest substantial amounts of time and money need sound information to make careful decisions. While no one can forecast the future of the organic grain and soybean industry with certainty, understanding the forces that drive costs and prices is a key factor for anticipating likely trends in profits.

Suggested Citation

  • Welsh, Rick, 1999. "The Economics of Organic Grain and Soybean Production in the Midwestern United States," Policy Studies Program Reports, Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, number 134120.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:hawall:134120
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/134120
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ervin, David E. & Smith, Katherine R., 1996. "What it takes to "Get to Yes" for Whole Farm Planning Policy," Policy Studies Program Reports, Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, number 134114.
    2. Hexem, Roger W. & Trerise, Sharon M. & West, Sally F. & Robillard, Paul D., 1979. "Views of Soil and Water Conservation District Directors Regarding Development and Implementation of Farm Conservation Plans and Implications for Water Quality Management Planning in New York State," Research Bulletins 181177, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Lohr, Luanne, 2002. "Benefits of U.S. organic agriculture," MPRA Paper 24327, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Crosson, Pierre & Anderson, Jock, 2002. "Technologies for Meeting Future Global Demands for Food," Discussion Papers dp-02-02-, Resources For the Future.
    3. Greene, Catherine R., 2001. "U.S. Organic Farming Emerges in the 1990s: Adoption of Certified Systems," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33777, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    4. Amita Shah & Puttaswamaiah S & Ian Manns, 2009. "Promoting Sustainable Agriculture: Experiences from India and Canada," Working Papers id:1922, eSocialSciences.
    5. repec:eee:agisys:v:157:y:2017:i:c:p:118-128 is not listed on IDEAS

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:hawall:134120. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.