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