Treated wood

Treated wood (lumber) is not allowed for new installations or replacement when in contact with soil or livestock.

Is a pre-existing building or fence made with treated wood allowed?

For organic crop and livestock producers with pre-existing buildings or fencing constructed of treated lumber, these structures may be exempt and will not need to be removed.

What do I need to do if I have treated wood on my farm?

Crop and livestock contact with treated wood must be prevented at all times, even in cases of pre-existing treated wood.

Am I able to use treated wood in any scenario on my farm?

Using treated wood products for construction on your certified organic land will result in a noncompliance and potential loss of certification for the impacted parcel, crop, and/or livestock.

Treated wood is prohibited for use when:

  • Building a pasture farrowing hut, a cattle feed bunk or a shelter
  • Building feed or crop storage areas
  • Fencing (e.g., posts, etc.) in livestock pastures, holding, or confining areas
  • Supporting (e.g., posts, plant stakes, hoop houses, etc.) on-site structures

What if the treated wood will not be not near organic production areas?

Treated wood that is isolated from organic production — such as wooden building materials that are not in direct contact with either livestock or crops — might not be prohibited, but could be restricted in its applications. OTCO requires a buffer zone to prevent contamination. For example, you may need a barrier of some sort between the post and its surroundings. There is zero allowance for any wood treated with creosote.

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