Organic farming has become one of the fastest growing segments of U.S. agriculture, according to a recently released report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service.

U.S. producers are turning to certified organic farming systems as a potential way to lower input costs, decrease reliance on nonrenewable resources, capture high-value markets and premium prices, and boost farm income.

Organic farming systems rely on ecologically based practices, such as cultural and biological pest management, and virtually exclude the use of synthetic chemicals in crop production and prohibit the use of antibiotics and hormones in livestock production.

Many producers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers specialize in growing, processing and marketing an ever widening array of organic food and fiber products.

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