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Rodale Enlists Cargill in Unlikely Alliance To Increase Organic Farmland

Together with poultry company Bell & Evans, the duo is launching the U.S. Organic Grain Initiative, designed to transition 50,000 acres of corn and soy to organic and help fill a growing gap in domestic organic animal feed.

Rodale Institute—one of America’s most renowned organic institutes—announced today it will help transition more than 50,000 acres of farmland to organic production by forming an unlikely alliance with Cargill, the largest privately owned agribusiness company in the country, and chicken producer Bell & Evans.

The project is called the U.S. Organic Grain Initiative, and it’s designed to help more farmers adopt organic practices and fill a gap in domestic organic animal feed.

While organic product sales have more than doubled over the past decade to hit $55 billion in 2019, certified organic cropland has not kept pace. Looking at cropland alone, organic production accounts for just one-half of 1 percent of all U.S. acres. That gap in supply has created a massive opportunity for the sale of fraudulent organic grain, especially in imports. As a result, some organic producers end up feeding their livestock non-organic grain without knowing it, and the Organic Trade Association (OTA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been working to address that fraud.

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