SPRINGFIELD -- Sales from Illinois organic farms more than tripled during a five-year period, according to statistics released by the federal government.
The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reported annual organic sales from the state's farms reached $26.2 million in 2012, up from $8.3 million in 2007.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture figures show sales growth came despite the fact that the overall number of farms in the state fell during the same period.
The tabulated figures only include farms with at least $5,000 in annual sales that sell USDA-certified organic products.
Kendra Schilling, who manages the Illinois Products Farmers' Market at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, said the federal data doesn't include figures from smaller growers who haven't gone through the certification process.
"A lot of our growers do use organic practices," she said.
Illinois' overall crop sales were $14.1 billion in 2012, while livestock sales reached about $3 billion.