Additions and updates to farm certification

#Update crop list or rotation

It’s important to keep your crop list and crop rotations updated in your Organic System Plan (OSP). If your crops or crop rotations do not match your OSP, you are at risk for noncompliance.

What information do I need to request an update for crops or crop rotation?

Think through any related changes for crop updates — e.g., crop rotations, seeds, buffers, etc. — that you will need to include in your update request.

We will require the following information to update (either add or remove) your crop list and crop rotation:

  • Parcel(s) information (e.g., acreage, organic vs. transitional, all crops to be grown in location)
  • Crop rotation updates (C4)
  • Seed, seedlings, planting stock and transplant updates (e.g., using new seed treatments, etc.) and commercial availability as needed (C3 and C11)
  • Name of your certified operation

How do I update my crop list or crop rotation?

To request the addition of a crop or make changes to your crop rotation, fill out the forms below to update your OSP.

#Add crop land to my certification

In all cases, new land is required to be inspected before it can be added to your certification.

What information and forms are needed to add land to my certificate?

To add land to an existing certificate, the following is required:

  • Completion of a C2 form (and possibly a land transfer form)
  • Parcel identification
  • Parcel geographic location (address, township, range)
  • 36 month land history, including all inputs, seeds, and crops
  • Complete maps of the location, including borders and buffer areas

Is there a difference to add adjacent versus separate field parcels?

If you are applying for multiple fields that have adjacent borders, they can be considered one contiguous “parcel” and should be included on one C2 form, unless the fields have different land histories. A separate C2 form is required for all non-contiguous parcels which do not border each other, and for any parcels that are not yet eligible for organic (i.e. transitional).

What makes a land history affirmation acceptable?

Signed land history affirmations must include the 36 months prior to your application to be eligible for organic production. If you have managed the land less than 36 months, previous land managers can sign and attest to land history. If all 36 months of history is not available, then land eligibility will begin from the last date of affirmation.

How do I add land that is leased or that I do not own?

To add land to your certification for property you do not own — but where you have a lease/ management agreement with the owner — indicate the lease arrangement on the C2 form and contact OTCO if you have any questions about leased land certification requirements.

Can I add new crops with a land addition request?

If you are adding new crops, other sections of your Organic System Plan (OSP) may need to be updated (e.g., crop rotation, materials, etc.). Crop production that is significantly different from your existing production will require an inspection.

Can I harvest from new land before inspection and certification approval?

For current OTCO-certified producers in good standing, crops from new land may be harvested but not sold or represented as organic prior to the inspection.

The following restrictions apply:

  • Product must stay within approved locations per your OSP, be segregated, and you must keep appropriate storage and movement records
  • Harvested product may not be fed to organic livestock until approved
  • Land acreage must match the amount of harvested product and visually show recent harvest
  • Recordkeeping must be complete and auditable to show organic eligibility

When is the best time to request a land addition?

To save money and time, the best option is to request land be added with your annual renewal. If the land is added during the regular renewal process, no additional fees are assessed except for inspector time and travel to get to the new site. Land added outside of the renewal process will require an additional inspection and added expenses. If needed, we offer an expedited service program for an additional fee.

Forms & Documents

Download the above and submit it to your client service team.

#Add livestock certification

Adding livestock to your organic crop certification will require an on-site inspection by an organic inspector, possibly at the time of your annual inspection if your request is done with enough advance notice.

What is the cost of adding livestock certification?

There is a $250 annual fee for the livestock certification scope. We request payment at the time of your livestock addition request.

What if I need to add land for livestock use?

Follow the steps for adding new land for pasture or outdoor access for livestock. If a livestock addition will change your crop OSP, be sure to update it as well as your C6 worksheet (section 6.2).

What livestock processing or transport activities require additional info?

No matter what livestock you want to add, you’ll need to complete forms for livestock processing and/or transport if you or a contracted party do any of the following:

  • Sell organic products, including live animals
  • Milk animals, cool or store milk
  • Mix, mill or grind livestock feed for use
  • Wash or pack eggs
  • Slaughter animals
  • Cool, age, cut or wrap meat
  • Process fibers
  • Transport organic livestock

How do I add ruminant mammals (e.g., cattle, sheep, goats, etc.)?

To request the addition of ruminant mammals with an existing crop certification, fill out the forms below to build your livestock OSP.

How do I add non-ruminant, non-avian mammals (e.g., pigs, rabbits, etc.)?

To request the addition of non-ruminant, non-avian mammals with an existing crop certification, fill out the forms below to build your livestock OSP.

How do I add avian species (e.g., chickens, turkeys, etc.)?

To request the addition of avian species with an existing crop certification, fill out the forms below to build your livestock OSP.

#Add processing or handling certification

For processing not covered by your crop certification, you will need to add processing and/or handling certification.

Certain processing and handling activities — e.g., seed cleaning, packing and labeling crops, etc. — for crops produced on your farm may already be covered under your crop certification.

Can I add processing certification at any time?

The addition of a processing/handling scope to your certification will require an on-site inspection by an organic inspector. Our inspection team makes every effort to combine the inspection with your annual crop inspection. If we receive your request with sufficient advance notice (at least one month prior to your annual inspection), it can save you the cost and effort of scheduling a second inspection.

How do I add processing certification?

To request the addition of processing with an existing crop certification, fill out the forms below to build your processing/handling OSP.

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