Saturday, November 18th 2023

Boost Farm Income with Verified Value-Added Crops

On Tuesday, USDA released its most recent farm income statement and balance sheet report. New data published by the agency included the 2016 farm income forecast for August and the first 2015 farm income estimates. According to the report, USDA estimated 2015 farm income to total $80.7 billion, and for 2016, the forecast was $71.5 billion.

Both the 2015 estimate and 2016 forecast are lower than the high $123.8 billion recorded in 2013. However, they were improvements from the forecast published in February. At the time, USDA had set $54.8 billion as its 2016 net farm income forecast. This Farm Futures story shares other highlights from Tuesday’s report.

Declining farm incomes heightens the need to manage costs and maximize yields. specializes in delivering cost savings, efficiency and value to its growers. We achieve this mission by offering inputs that consistently produce big yields at a low cost. More recently, we’ve supported launching the Verification Identifying Smart Plant System.

Otherwise known as VISPS, the program creates a low-cost, third-party option for farmers to verify non-GMO, close-to-organic or transitional organic crops. By enrolling in VISPS, a producer can qualify his or her operation as a Smart Farm. Designating products with the Smart Farm brand can provide premiums from buyers that demand traceability and clear standards for value-added goods that they procure.

Third-party verification represents a hallmark of the VISPS program. Operations seeking to complete the VISPS program requirements and use the Smart Farm brand must receive verification from a third party to ensure that their production meets the necessary standards. VISPS standards to which verified products must adhere will soon undergo ISO-17065 certification. The Mid-America Organic Association (MOA) is a VISPS verifier.

Producers interested in verifying their non-GMO, close-to-organic or transitional organic crops can work with VISPS staff to enroll in the program. Additionally, recently launched to accept online enrollments.

VISPS is still accepting enrollments for this crop year. If you’re growing a non-GMO, close-to-organic or transitional organic crop, then enroll now! This video features Donna Kennedy of and MOA explaining more. At noon on Sept. 8, we’re introducing a new monthly webinar focused on VISPS. To register, go to

If you have questions about the VISPS program or would like to enroll, then contact us anytime. Be sure to visit, too!

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