Pest, weed and disease management

#Pest, weed and disease management for crops

Preventative management practices are the first line of defense for organic producers controlling pests, weeds, and diseases. These include but are not limited to:

  • Crop rotation and soil/crop nutrient management practices
  • Sanitation measures to remove disease vectors and habitat for pests
  • Selection of regionally appropriate crops

For pests, the following control practices are allowed when preventative strategies fail:

  • Introduction of beneficial insects (e.g., predators of the pest species)
  • Development of habitat for beneficial insects
  • Nonsynthetic controls such as lures, pheromone traps and repellents

For disease pressures, the following control methods are allowed when preventative strategies fail:

  • Management practices that suppress the spread of disease organisms or pathogens
  • Application of nonsynthetic biological, botanical or mineral inputs

For weeds, the following control practices are allowed when preventative strategies fail:

  • Mulching with fully biodegradable materials
  • Mowing
  • Livestock grazing
  • Hand weeding and mechanical cultivation
  • Flaming or burning, heat, or electrical means (not to be confused with field burning)
  • Non-biodegradable mulches only if removed at the end of season (e.g., prior to degradation)

When preventative management practices are insufficient to prevent or control crop pests and diseases, you might be able to use a biological or botanical material, or a material allowed for use on the National List, to prevent, suppress, or control pests.

Alert

You must demonstrate and document the conditions for using the material and verify approval of the product with OTCO prior to use whenever an approved material is not OMRI- or WSDA-listed.

Forms & Documents

Please note: If you applied for certification using our Online OSP via SOW Organic, you can make all of your OSP updates and requests through your account. All others should download the above and submit it to <http://www.privatedaddy.com/?q=RFVkTEZvYFNKDABfaz9dAjZmVlRB_19>.

Resource

Learn more about preventative practices from certified organic producers in this video, developed by WSDA in partnership with USDA National Organic Program as part of the Sound and Sensible Initiative:

#Emergency treatments

In the event that federal or state authorities put into effect emergency pest or disease treatment programs that mandate the use of materials that are prohibited for use in organic production, your operation’s USDA National Organic Program certification status will not be impacted if:

  • Harvestable crops or plant parts that come into contact with a prohibited substance applied as the result of a federal or state emergency pest or disease treatment program are not sold, labeled, or represented as organically produced
  • Livestock treated with a prohibited substance applied as the result of a federal or state emergency pest or disease treatment program, or product derived from such treated livestock, are not sold, labeled, or represented as organically produced
  • Milk or milk products may be sold, labeled, or represented as organically produced beginning 12 months following the last date that the dairy animal was treated with the prohibited substance
  • Offspring of gestating mammalian breeder stock treated with a prohibited substance may be considered organic provided the breeder stock was not in the last third of gestation on the date that the breeder stock was treated with the prohibited substance

OTCO requests as much information as possible prior to implementation of a federal or state emergency treatment program:

  • Copy of the federal or state mandated emergency program
  • Information regarding the required material for application
  • If an alternative approved organic material or method is available, and explanation for why that cannot be used
  • All locations and schedule for applications
  • Crop information (e.g., plant stage, etc.)

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