National survey shows tobacco is the leading organic product in Virginia

Tobacco plantation

Tobacco plantation

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced Friday that a recent survey shows tobacco is the leading organic product in Virginia.

Tobacco sales totaled $18.7 million, or 38 percent of all sales. Broilers and milk followed with $9.5 million and $7.2 million in sales, respectively.

There were 139 certified organic farms in 2015, totaling 23,453 acres of land.

“The number of USDA-certified organic farms and the value of sales have more than doubled since the last time only certified farms were surveyed in 2011,” said Herman Ellison, Virginia state statistician with NASS. “Consumer demand for organic products has been beneficial for Virginia farmers.”

In Virginia, 35 percent of the farms sold at least some products directly to consumers, via farm stands, farmers’ markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) and other arrangements.

The 2015 Certified Organic Production Report was conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Results are from a survey conducted earlier this year of all known USDA-certified organic farms across the state.