Louisiana Organics

Statistics and State Resources

Louisiana Organic Statistics

Louisiana has one of the longest operating state organic certification programs but was one of nine states that reported a decline in certified organic acreage from 1997 to 2001. USDA statistics from 1997 show 371 certified organic acres. There were 161 certified acres in 2000, which declined further to 96 acres certified in 2001 and 66 acres certi- fied in 2002.(USDA/ERS, 2002. Organic production.) The primary cause of the decline was a delay in obtaining USDA-NOP accreditation. Many smaller producers opted to drop from certification when local certification was not available. One of the largest producers obtained services from a certification agency from outside the state.

The majority of organic acreage certified in Louisiana in 2001 was “fruits, vegetables, and herbs” (73 acres, 76%), with “other crops” following (13 acres, 14%). The remaining organic acreage was divided between hay (3%) and pasture (10%). “Other croplands” include 11 acres in cultivated and wild mushrooms. One-third of total certified organic acreage was in vegetables. Fruits include citrus (15%), tree nuts (12.5%), and other fruits (11%). Blueberries are the leading “other fruit crop.” There are currently no certified organic livestock in the state. Most certified organic production is located in southern Louisiana, near larger urban areas, where there are established direct markets, including farmers’ markets, restaurants, and local grocery stores. Organic products in Louisiana include roasted coffee, brown rice crackers, flavors and syrups, stir-fry sauce, and juice. Handlers are certified by several different certifying agents, mostly from outside the state.


State Resources

  1. Farmers’ Markets are coordinated through the Louisiana State University Agriculture Center and Louisiana Vegetable and Fruit Growers Association. There are 21 markets currently listed in Louisiana.
    Contact: Jimmy Boudreaux, State Farmers’ Market Representative
    LSU Ag Center
    155 J.C. Miller Hall
    Baton Rouge, LA 70803
    225-578-0773 FAX

    New Orleans Farmers’ Markets
    Contact: Darlene Wolnik, Associate Director
    Economics Institute/Crescent City Farmers’ Market

    Baton Rouge Farmers’ Market
    Contact: Copper Alvarez
    Red Stick Farmers’ Market
    Baton Rouge Economic and Agricultural
    Development Alliance

  2. University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Lafayette, LA.
    Durga Poudel, Assistant Professor and Farm Director, organizes organic field tours and workshops and maintains a certified organic demonstration farm. His publications include “Participatory Evaluation of Organic Production Systems in Southwestern Louisiana” (PDF) (Organic Farming Research Foundation, 2003). His current research, funded by OFRF and due for publication in 2005, is evaluating weed suppression in tomatoes and sweet corn using hay mulch, plastic mulch, flaming, and mechanical cultivation.
    Contact: Dr. Durga Poudel
    Department of Renewable Resources
    University of Louisiana at Lafayette
    P.O. Box 44650
    Lafayette, LA 70504

    Colette Anzalone, Outreach Specialist, provides answers concerning production and handling of organic products.
    Contact: Colette Anzalone
    University of Louisiana at Lafayette
    611 McKinley Dr.
    Hamilton Hall, Room 127
    Lafayette, LA 70504

  3. Owusu Bandele, Southern University, Professor, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, created the demonstration organic farm “Food for Thought,” with special interest in assisting limited resource and small-scale farmers. He is a past member of the National Organic Standards Board, the board that advises the USDA National Organic Program.
    Contact: Dr. Owusu Bandele
    Southern University Agriculture Research
    and Extension Center
    150 A.O. Williams Hall
    P.O. Box 10010
    Baton Rouge, LA 70813
    225-771-2262, ext. 206

  4. Carl E. Motsenbocker, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Horticulture, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, teaches organic gardening at LSU, including organic methods, advises an organic community garden, conducts sustainable agriculture research at the Ag Center research station, works with farmers’ markets, and is developing an organic research program and organic extension materials for Louisiana for publication by the LSU Ag Center.
    Contact: Dr. Carl Motsenbocker
    137 Julian Miller Hall
    Department of Horticulture
    Louisiana State University
    Baton Rouge, LA 70803
    cmots@lsu.edu or cmotsenbocker@agctr.lsu.edu

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