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NOSB Spring 2014 Meeting: Meeting Information, Request for Comments

NOSB Spring 2014 Meeting: Meeting Information, Request for Comments

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is now accepting public comments on proposals in advance of its Spring 2014 meeting.

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Non-GMO Requirements under the National Organic Program

Non-GMO Requirements under the National Organic Program

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.

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New Network Launches for Transitioning Farmers- Space Still Available

New Network Launches for Transitioning Farmers- Space Still Available

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.

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Oregon Tilth submits comments to the USDA on Agriculture Coexistence

Oregon Tilth submits comments to the USDA on Agriculture Coexistence

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.

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Comcast Spotlights Chris Schreiner, Executive Director of Oregon Tilth

Comcast Spotlights Chris Schreiner, Executive Director of Oregon Tilth, in their Newsmaker program

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Agriculture Secretary Announces $3 Million for a New Program to Improve Pollinator Health

Agriculture Secretary Announces $3 Million for a New Program to Improve Pollinator Health

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.

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Organic farms have a positive effect on biodiversity

Organic farms have a positive effect on biodiversity

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.

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U.S. Organic Cotton Survey reveals potential opportunities for future growth

U.S. Organic Cotton Survey reveals potential opportunities for future growth

Looking at the status of U.S. organic cotton production, the 2012 and Preliminary 2013 U.S. Organic Cotton Production & Marketing Trends report prepared by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) identifies three building blocks for the long-term success and viability of domestic organic cotton production.

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Organic Topic of Interest: Hydroponics

Organic Topic of Interest: Hydroponics

The NOP has posted a new topic page to clarify the status of hydroponics under the USDA organic regulations. Visit the Organic Topics of Interest page and choose "Organic Hydroponic Crop Production" from the drop-down menu.

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Organic 101: Ensuring Organic Integrity through Inspections.

Organic 101: Ensuring Organic Integrity through Inspections.

A new article posted to the USDA Organic 101 blog series discusses the importance of inspections in the certification process.

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The Use of Kelp in Organic Livestock Feed

The Use of Kelp in Organic Livestock Feed

By March 4, 2014, all kelp used in organic livestock feed is required to be certified organic. Oregon Tilth will not allow the use or organic sale of feed inventory containing non-organic kelp after March 4. Our inspectors will audit purchased feed and supplements to confirm only certified organic kelp is used after this date.

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NOSB Memo: Ancillary Substances

NOSB Memo: Ancillary Substances

USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is pleased to share a memo to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) regarding its ongoing work on ancillary substances.

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USDA Webinar Series from the Fruit and Vegetable Program

USDA Webinar Series from the  Fruit and Vegetable Program

The AMS Fruit and Vegetable Program invites you to attend a series of free, interactive webinars on our many programs and services. These informative webinars are designed for fruit and vegetable growers, packers, shippers, processors, wholesalers and retailers of all sizes.

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Drought Relief: Organic Ruminant Producers in California

Drought Relief: Organic Ruminant Producers in California

Secretary Vilsack had designated 54 of 58 California counties as primary natural disaster areas due to drought conditions. As a result, organic ruminant livestock operations may not be able to meet the organic pasture requirements in the USDA organic regulations. On February 12, Agricultural Marketing Service Associate Administrator Rex A. Barnes granted a temporary variance to provide relief for impacted livestock producers.

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Who Needs to be Certified Organic?

Who Needs to be Certified Organic?

Most farms and businesses that grow, handle, or process organic products must be certified. Through this certifier instruction, the National Organic Program (NOP) is reminding certifiers that organic agricultural products must be produced and handled exclusively at certified organic farms and handling operations to ensure organic integrity throughout the product's lifecycle.

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President Signs New 5-Year Farm Bill

President Signs New 5-Year Farm Bill

Today on the campus of Michigan State University, President Obama signed the new five-year farm bill into law. He was joined at the signing ceremony by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman (and MSU alumnus) Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

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Organic Alcohol Beverage Labeling Guides

Organic Alcohol Beverage Labeling Guides

All organic alcohol beverages must meet both Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and USDA organic regulations. To help domestic and international organic operations understand and meet these requirements, AMS has developed the following labeling guides in partnership with TTB.

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Publication offers Guidance for Nutrient Management on Organic Farms

Publication offers Guidance for Nutrient Management on Organic Farms

In collaboration with regional nonprofit organizations and public agencies, Oregon Tilth produced a series of documents that provide technical guidance to conservation planners working with organic producers. Nutrient Management Plan (590) for Organic Systems: Western State Implementation Guide describes the steps to develop a nutrient management plan for organic operations.

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Organic Trade Association applauds Senate passage of Farm Bill

Organic Trade Association applauds Senate passage of Farm Bill

The Senate’s passage of the Agricultural Act of 2014 clears the way for the bill to proceed to President Obama for final sign-off into law. The legislation, adopted by the House of Representatives on Jan. 29, includes numerous priorities the Organic Trade Association (OTA) has been seeking for more than two years.

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Apply for Improved Crop Insurance by 3/15

Apply for Improved Crop Insurance by 3/15

Federal crop insurance provides the risk management tools necessary for American farmers to protect themselves against unexpected difficult years. To better support the growing organic agriculture sector, USDA's Risk Management Agency has taken steps to offer more options for organic producers under the Federal crop insurance program for the 2014 crop year:

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