CHURDAN, Iowa (AP) — It used to be that organic crops were an oddity, destined for health food stores or maybe a few farmers markets.
But over the decades, something unexpected happened — demand for organics started increasing so fast that it began outstripping the supply produced in the U.S. Now a new challenge has emerged: It’s not getting consumers to pay the higher prices, it’s convincing enough farmers to get past their organic reluctance and start taking advantage of the good money pouring in. Instead of growing to meet the demand, the number of farmers making the switch is actually dropping.
Last month, U.S. Department of Agriculture committed up to $300 million to recruit and help more farmers to make the switch.
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