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Abstract

We investigate the determinants of organic farming in the United States. State-level data show that the organic farming sector has grown over the last decade, but growth has been very heterogeneous with few states accounting for most of the growth. Further analyses of county data reveal that favorable natural amenities, water for irrigation, and government payments have a positive effect on most measures of organic farming used here. Results further point out that organic farming operations are more popular among young farmers. Adjacency to metro areas is also an important determinant for the number of organic operations. Organic farming is more important for the agricultural sector of the areas that are somewhat remote but that does not appear to be the case for very remote rural areas.

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