The Federal Register published a notice to announce the public comment period for draft guidance on post harvest handling. This draft guidance helps organic certifiers, farms, and businesses understand which substances may be used to wash, sort, cool, and sort raw agricultural products post-harvest.
USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has released the 2014 Request for Applications for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). Applications are due June 12.
Carson’s book about agrochemicals launched the modern environmental movement, but the work she started in Silent Spring is far from finished.
The Organic Center has completed a project providing critically needed information on how to prevent fire blight from decimating apple and pear orchards without the use of antibiotics.
A new study found that organic medicinal treatments for livestock can be just as effective as conventional treatments. Researchers at North Carolina State University compared herbal treatments for infections such as mastitis with conventional antibiotics.
USDA Announces Growth of U.S. Organic Industry and Additional USDA Support Available with New Farm Bill
The USDA announced a 4.2 percent increase of certified organic operations in 2013, with a record breaking 18,513 certified organic farms and businesses in the United States alone.
As a reminder, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is accepting public comments on its spring 2014 proposals.
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced two grant opportunities. The Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) seeks to solve critical organic agriculture issues, priorities, or problems through the integration of research, education, and extension activities.
AMS is working to implement the reauthorized Organic Cost Share Programs. This week, a Notice was published in the Federal Register estimating the reporting burden for these cost share programs and opening a sixty day comment period. This notice is an important step in implementing the organic certification cost share programs for Fiscal Years 2014 through 2018. Comments are due by May 16, 2014.
The updated list of certified organic operators is now available! As of the end of 2013, 18,513 organic farms and processing facilities in the United States were certified to the USDA organic standards. Worldwide, there are now more than 25,000 certified organic operators in more than 120 countries.
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is a Federal Advisory Committee that provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture on the implementation of the Organic Foods Production Act. USDA announces its intent to renew the NOSB's charter, and seeks nominations for seats on the NOSB.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold a public meeting on April 4, 2014, to discuss the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the produce safety proposed rule and is extending the public scoping period to April 18, 2014.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) posted a policy memorandum to clarify the status of aquatic plant extracts under the USDA organic regulations. It corrects a previous National Organic Program (NOP) interpretation on the allowance of synthetic acids for pH adjustment of aquatic plant extracts for crop production.
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is now accepting public comments on proposals in advance of its Spring 2014 meeting.
The use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is prohibited in organic products. This means an organic farmer can’t plant GMO seeds, an organic cow can’t eat GMO alfalfa or corn, and an organic soup producer can’t use any GMO ingredients. Learn more from The Organic Trade Association's new fact sheet on Non-GMO Requirements under the National Organic Program.
Beginning in April, Oregon growers transitioning to organic production will have their own network for guidance and information. Oregon Tilth’s Transitioning Farmer Network will provide tools, training, and technical assistance for farmers in transition, and those adding organic acreage or diversifying production.
Oregon Tilth submitted comments to the USDA regarding agriculture coexistence between GE and non-GE agricultural systems, urging the USDA to take responsible action to protect farmers and consumers from GE contamination.
Comcast Spotlights Chris Schreiner, Executive Director of Oregon Tilth, in their Newsmaker program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide close to $3 million in technical and financial assistance for interested farmers and ranchers to help improve the health of bees, which play an important role in crop production. The funding is a focused investment to improve pollinator health and will be targeted in five Midwestern states, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
A new European study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology found that organic farms are able to support more species than conventional farms. They found that on average, organic farms support 34 percent more plant, insect, and animal species.