Organic Standards for Crop Production: Highlights of the USDA's National Organic Program Regulations


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Organic Standards for Crop Production: Highlights of the USDA's National Organic Program Regulations

  1. 1. Organic Standards for Crop ProductionATTRA Highlights of the USDA’s National Organic Program Regulations A Publication of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service • 1-800-346-9140 • www.attra.ncat.orgBy Ann H. Baier This collection of excerpts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program providesNCAT Agriculture the reader with key standards relevant to organic crop production. This publication should be usedSpecialist together with excerpts for all certified organic operations, as well as with those for organic livestock© 2008 NCAT production and handling of organic agricultural products, as applicable. Highlights of the USDA’s National Organic Program Regulations include key standards for: 1) All certified organic operations 2) Crop production 3) Livestock productionContents 4) Handling (including processing)Introduction ..................... 1 Please use this publication in combination with the ATTRA publication Organic Standards for AllExcerpts ............................. 2 Organic Operations, and others, if relevant to your organic operations. General .......................... 2 Land requirements ... 2 Soil fertility and Introduction This set of excerpts should also not be used as a substitute for verifying points of com- crop nutrient This publication provides easy reference management .............. 2 pliance for organic production and handling to the standards relevant to organic crop Seeds and activities with an accredited organic certi- production. This set of excerpts from the planting stock ............ 4 fier. For a list of certifiers, click on Certifi- USDA’s National Organic Program Final Crop rotation .............. 4 ers under “I Want Information On” in the Rule contains the general requirements for Crop pest, weed NOP Web site index (above). and disease land, soil fertility and crop nutrient manage- management .............. 4 ment, seeds and planting stock, crop rota- Using this guide: Wild-crop tion, pest, weed and disease management, harvesting .................... 5 wild crops, lists of allowed and prohibited This is a collection of verbatim excerpts from Synthetic substances substances and definition of terms most key parts of the National Organic Program’s allowed in organic Final Rule. Organic regulations are found crop production ........ 5 applicable to crop production. While this publication includes the key standards that under the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Non-synthetic sub- stances prohibited directly address organic crop production, it Service 7 CFR Part 205. CFR stands for in organic crop is not a complete collection of all the stan- Code of Federal Regulations. Part 205, the production ................... 8 National Organic Program is found under dards with which organic crop producers Selected Title 7: Agriculture, one of 50 broad subject terms defined ............ 8 must comply. It must be used in conjunction with standards for all organic operations, areas that are subject to federal regulation. organic livestock production, or handling of The Organic Foods Production Act was organic agricultural products, as applicable. enacted under the 1990 Farm Bill. The Act, This set of excerpts is not a substitute for as it is referred to in the text, authorizedATTRA—National Sustainable reading the entire set of standards. The reg- creation of the USDA National Organic Pro-Agriculture Information Service ulatory texts of the National Organic Pro- gram to set national standards for the pro-is managed by the National Cen-ter for Appropriate Technology gram standards are available on USDA’s duction, handling and processing of organi-(NCAT) and is funded under agrant from the United States National Organic Program Web site, www. cally grown agricultural products. The NOPDepartment of Agriculture’s Rural To view the produc- oversees mandatory certification of organicBusiness-Cooperative Service.Visit the NCAT Web site (www. tion and handling standards, click on “Reg- production. Producers who meet NOP ulations” under General Information. Under dards may label their products as “USDAphp) for more informa-tion on our sustainable Regulatory Text, click on “Electronic Code Certified Organic.” The subparts referenceagriculture projects. of Federal Regulations.” organization levels in each excerpt.
  2. 2. The following sections of Part 205 of the “100-percent organic,” “organic” or “made National Organic Program are excerpted with organic specified ingredients or food below: groups” must comply with the applicable • § 205.200 General provisions of this subpart. Production practices implemented in accordance with • § 205.202 Land requirements this subpart must maintain or improve the • § 205.203 Soil fertility and crop natural resources of the operation, includ- nutrient management practice stan- ing soil and water quality. dard § 205.202 Land requirements • § 205.204 Seeds and planting stock practice standard Any field or farm parcel from which har- vested crops are intended to be sold, • § 205.205 Crop rotation practice labeled or represented as “organic” must: standard (a) Have been managed in accordance • § 205.206 Crop pest, weed and dis- with the provisions of §§205.203 ease management practice standard through 205.206; • § 205.207 Wild-crop harvesting prac- tice standard (b) Have had no prohibited substances, as listed in §205.105, applied to it for The National List of Allowed and a period of three years immediately preceding harvest of the crop; and Prohibited Substances • § 205.601 Synthetic substances (c) Have distinct, defined boundaries and allowed for use in organic crop pro- buffer zones such as runoff diversions duction to prevent the unintended application of a prohibited substance to the crop • § 205.602 Non-synthetic substances or contact with a prohibited substance prohibited for use in organic crop pro- applied to adjoining land that is not duction. under organic management. • § 205.2 Terms defined [selected for relevance to crop production]. § 205.203 Soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice standard Note: e-CFR Data used in this publication is cur- rent as of July 23, 2008. (a) The producer must select and imple- Amendment dates are noted at the end of ment tillage and cultivation practices certain sections, such as Defined terms, the that maintain or improve the physical, National List and also in some aspects of live- chemical and biological condition of stock production. Changes may be the result of soil and minimize soil erosion. legal actions, petitions to add or remove materi- als or technical corrections. Most other sections (b) The producer must manage crop of the Rule have not changed since their original nutrients and soil fertility through version. To find the most current version avail- rotations, cover crops and the applica- able, please go the electronic code of federal tion of plant and animal materials. regulations. See instructions in paragraph two of the Introduction. (c) The producer must manage plant and animal materials to maintain or improve soil organic matter content in Excerpts a manner that does not contribute to § 205.200 General contamination of crops, soil or water by plant nutrients, pathogenic organ- The producer or handler of a production isms, heavy metals or residues of pro- or handling operation intending to sell, hibited substances. Animal and plant label or represent agricultural products as materials include:Page 2 ATTRA Organic Standards for Crop Production
  3. 3. (1) Raw animal manure, which must (1) A crop nutrient or soil amendment be composted unless it is: included on the National List of synthetic substances allowed for (i) Applied to land used for a use in organic crop production; crop not intended for human consumption; (2) A mined substance of low solubility; (ii) Incorporated into the soil not less than 120 days prior (3) A mined substance of high solubil- to the harvest of a product ity, provided that the substance is whose edible portion has used in compliance with the condi- direct contact with the soil tions established on the National surface or soil particles; or List of non-synthetic materials prohibited for crop production; (iii) Incorporated into the soil not less than 90 days prior to the (4) Ash obtained from the burn- harvest of a product whose ing of a plant or animal material, edible portion does not have except as prohibited in paragraph direct contact with the soil (e) of this section, provided that surface or soil particles. the material burned has not been treated or combined with a pro- (2) Composted plant and animal hibited substance or the ash is not materials produced though a included on the National List of process that: non-synthetic substances prohib- (i) Established an initial C:N ited for use in organic crop ratio of between 25:1 and production; and 40:1; and (5) A plant or animal material that (ii) Maintained a temperature of has been chemically altered by a between 131 degrees Fahren- manufacturing process, provided heit and 170 degrees Fahren- that the material is included on heit for three days using an the National List of synthetic sub- in-vessel or static aerated pile stances allowed for use in organic system; or crop production established in §205.601. (iii) Maintained a temperature of between 131 and 170 (e) The producer must not use: degrees for 15 days using (1) Any fertilizer or composted plant a windrow composting sys- and animal material that contains tem, during which period the a synthetic substance not included materials must be turned a on the National List of synthetic minimum of five times. substances allowed for use in (3) Uncomposted plant materials. organic crop production;(d) A producer may manage crop nutri- (2) Sewage sludge (biosolids) as ents and soil fertility to maintain or defined in 40 CFR Part 503; and improve soil organic matter content in (3) Burning as a means of disposal a manner that does not contribute to for crop residues produced on the contamination of crops, soil or water operation except that burning may by plant nutrients, pathogenic organ- be used to suppress the spread isms, heavy metals or residues of pro- of disease or to stimulate seed hibited substances by applying: ATTRA Page 3
  4. 4. § 205.204 Seeds and planting stock § 205.205 Crop rotation practice practice standard standard (a) The producer must use organically The producer must implement a crop rota- grown seeds, annual seedlings and tion including but not limited to sod, cover planting stock, except that: crops, green manure crops and catch crops that provide the following functions that (1) Non-organically produced, are applicable to the operation: untreated seeds and planting stock may be used to produce an (a) Maintain or improve soil organic organic crop when an equivalent matter content; organically produced variety is not (b) Provide for pest management in commercially available, except annual and perennial crops; that organically produced seed must be used for the production (c) Manage deficient or excess plant of edible sprouts; nutrients; and (2) Non-organically produced seeds (d) Provide erosion control. and planting stock that have been § 205.206 Crop pest, weed and dis- treated with a substance included ease management practice standard on the National List of synthetic substances allowed for use in (a) The producer must use management organic crop production may be practices to prevent crop pests, weeds used to produce an organic crop and diseases including but not limited when an equivalent organically to: produced or untreated variety is (1) Crop rotation and soil and crop not commercially available; nutrient management practices, (3) Non-organically produced annual as provided for in §§205.203 and seedlings may be used to produce 205.205; an organic crop when a tempo- (2) Sanitation measures to remove rary variance has been granted in disease vectors, weed seeds and accordance with §205.290(a)(2); habitat for pest organisms; and (4) Non-organically produced plant- (3) Cultural practices that enhance ing stock to be used to produce crop health, including selection a perennial crop may be sold, of plant species and varieties with labeled or represented as organi- regard to suitability to site-specific cally produced only after the conditions and resistance to prev- planting stock has been main- alent pests, weeds and diseases. tained under a system of organic management for a period of no (b) Pest problems may be controlled less than one year; and through mechanical or physical meth- ods including but not limited to: (5) Seeds, annual seedlings and planting stock treated with pro- (1) Augmentation or introduction of predators or parasites of the pest hibited substances may be used species; to produce an organic crop when the application of the materials is (2) Development of habitat for natural a requirement of federal or state enemies of pests; phytosanitary regulations. (3) Non-synthetic controls such as (b) [Reserved] lures, traps and repellents.Page 4 ATTRA Organic Standards for Crop Production
  5. 5. (c) Weed problems may be controlled organic must be harvested from a through: designated area that has had no pro- hibited substance, as set forth in (1) Mulching with fully biodegradable §205.105, applied to it for a period of materials; three years immediately preceding the (2) Mowing; harvest of the wild crop. (3) Livestock grazing; (b) A wild crop must be harvested in a manner that ensures that such (4) Hand weeding and mechanical harvesting or gathering will not be cultivation; destructive to the environment and (5) Flame, heat or electrical means; or will sustain the growth and production of the wild crop. (6) Plastic or other synthetic mulches, provided that they are removed The National List of Allowed and Prohibited from the field at the end of the Substances growing or harvest season. § 205.601 Synthetic substances(d) Disease problems may be controlled allowed for use in organic crop through: production (1) Management practices which sup- In accordance with restrictions specified press the spread of disease organ- in this section, the following synthetic isms; or substances may be used in organic crop (2) Application of non-synthetic production, provided that use of such sub- biological, botanical or mineral stances do not contribute to contamination inputs. of crops, soil, or water. Substances allowed by this section, except disinfectants and(e) When the practices provided for in sanitizers in paragraph (a) and those sub- paragraphs (a) through (d) of this stances in paragraphs (c), (j), (k), and (l) section are insufficient to prevent or of this section, may only be used when control crop pests, weeds and diseases, the provisions set forth in §205.206(a) a biological or botanical substance or through (d) prove insufficient to prevent or a substance included on the National control the target pest. List of synthetic substances allowed for (a) As algicide, disinfectants, and sani- use in organic crop production may be tizer, including irrigation system applied to prevent, suppress or control cleaning systems. pests, weeds or diseases, provided that the conditions for using the substance (1) Alcohols. are documented in the organic system (i) Ethanol. plan. (ii) Isopropanol.(f) The producer must not use lumber treated with arsenate or other prohib- (2) Chlorine materials— Except, ited materials for new installations or That, residual chlorine levels in replacement purposes in contact with the water shall not exceed the soil or livestock. maximum residual disinfectant limit under the Safe Drinking§ 205.207 Wild-crop harvesting Water Act.practice standard (i) Calcium hypochlorite.(a) A wild crop that is intended to be sold, labeled or represented as (ii) Chlorine ATTRA Page 5
  6. 6. (iii) Sodium hypochlorite. (2) Boric acid—structural pest con- trol, no direct contact with (3) Copper sulfate—for use as an organic food or crops. algicide in aquatic rice systems, is limited to one application per (3) Copper sulfate—for use as tad- field during any 24-month period. pole shrimp control in aquatic Application rates are limited to rice production, is limited to one those which do not increase base- application per field during any line soil test values for copper over 24-month period. Application a timeframe agreed upon by the rates are limited to levels which do producer and accredited certifying not increase baseline soil test val- agent. ues for copper over a timeframe (4) Hydrogen peroxide. agreed upon by the producer and accredited certifying agent. (5) Ozone gas—for use as an irriga- tion system cleaner only. (4) Elemental sulfur. (6) Peracetic acid—for use in dis- (5) Lime sulfur—including calcium infecting equipment, seed, and polysulfide. asexually propagated planting (6) Oils, horticultural—narrow range material. oils as dormant, suffocating, and (7) Soap-based algicide/demossers. summer oils. (b) As herbicides, weed barriers, as (7) Soaps, insecticidal. applicable. (8) Sticky traps/barriers. (1) Herbicides, soap-based—for use (9) Sucrose octanoate esters (CAS in farmstead maintenance (road- #s—42922–74–7; 58064–47– ways, ditches, right of ways, 4)—in accordance with approved building perimeters) and orna- labeling. mental crops. (f) As insect management. Pheromones. (2) Mulches. (g) As rodenticides. (i) Newspaper or other recycled paper, without glossy or col- (1) Sulfur dioxide—underground ored inks. rodent control only (smoke bombs). (ii) Plastic mulch and covers (petroleum-based other than (2) Vitamin D3. polyvinyl chloride (PVC)). (h) As slug or snail bait. Ferric phosphate (c) As compost feedstocks—Newspapers (CAS # 10045–86–0). or other recycled paper, without glossy (i) As plant disease control. or colored inks. (1) Coppers, fixed—copper hydroxide, (d) As animal repellents—Soaps, ammo- copper oxide, copper oxychloride, nium—for use as a large animal repel- includes products exempted from lant only, no contact with soil or edi- EPA tolerance, provided that cop- ble portion of crop. per-based materials must be used (e) As insecticides (including acaricides in a manner that minimizes accu- or mite control). mulation in the soil and shall not be used as herbicides. (1) Ammonium carbonate—for use as bait in insect traps only, no direct (2) Copper sulfate—Substance contact with crop or soil. must be used in a manner thatPage 6 ATTRA Organic Standards for Crop Production
  7. 7. minimizes accumulation of copper iron, manganese, molybde- in the soil. num, selenium, and cobalt. (3) Hydrated lime. (7) Liquid fish products—can be pH (4) Hydrogen peroxide. adjusted with sulfuric, citric or phosphoric acid. The amount of (5) Lime sulfur. acid used shall not exceed the (6) Oils, horticultural, narrow range minimum needed to lower the pH oils as dormant, suffocating, and to 3.5. summer oils. (8) Vitamins, B1, C, and E. (7) Peracetic acid—for use to control (k) As plant growth regulators. Ethylene fire blight bacteria. gas—for regulation of pineapple (8) Potassium bicarbonate. flowering. (9) Elemental sulfur. (l) As floating agents in postharvest handling. (10) Streptomycin, for fire blight con- trol in apples and pears only. (1) Lignin sulfonate. (11) Tetracycline (oxytetracycline cal- (2) Sodium silicate—for tree fruit and cium complex), for fire blight fiber processing. control only. (m) As synthetic inert ingredients as(j) As plant or soil amendments. classified by the Environmental Pro- tection Agency (EPA), for use with (1) Aquatic plant extracts (other than non-synthetic substances or synthetic hydrolyzed)—Extraction process substances listed in this section and is limited to the use of potassium used as an active pesticide ingredient hydroxide or sodium hydroxide; in accordance with any limitations on solvent amount used is limited to that amount necessary for the use of such substances. extraction. (1) EPA List 4—Inerts of Minimal (2) Elemental sulfur. Concern. (3) Humic acids—naturally occurring (2) EPA List 3—Inerts of Unknown deposits, water and alkali extracts Toxicity allowed: only. (i) Glycerine Oleate (Glyc- (4) Lignin sulfonate—chelating agent, erol monooleate) (CAS #s dust suppressant, floatation agent. 37220–82–9)—for use only until December 31, 2006. (5) Magnesium sulfate—allowed with a documented soil deficiency. (ii) Inerts used in passive phero- mone dispensers. (6) Micronutrients—not to be used as a defoliant, herbicide, or desic- (n) Seed preparations. Hydrogen chloride cant. Those made from nitrates (CAS # 7647–01–0)—for delinting or chlorides are not allowed. Soil cotton seed for planting. deficiency must be documented (o)–(z) [Reserved] by testing. [65 FR 80637, Dec. 21, 2000, as (i) Soluble boron products. amended at 68 FR 61992, Oct. 31, 2003; (ii) Sulfates, carbonates, oxides, 71 FR 53302 Sept. 11, 2006; 72 FR or silicates of zinc, copper, 69572, Dec. 10, 2007] ATTRA Page 7
  8. 8. § 205.602 Non-synthetic substances Annual seedling. A plant grown from seed prohibited for use in organic crop that will complete its life cycle or produce a production harvestable yield within the same crop year or season in which it was planted. The following non-synthetic substances may not be used in organic crop production: Audit trail. Documentation that is sufficient to determine the source, transfer of owner- (a) Ash from manure burning. ship and transportation of any agricultural (b) Arsenic. product labeled as “100 percent organic,” the organic ingredients of any agricultural (c) Calcium chloride, brine process is product labeled as “organic” or “made natural and prohibited for use except with organic (specified ingredients)” or as a foliar spray to treat a physiologi- the organic ingredients of any agricultural cal disorder associated with calcium product containing less than 70 percent uptake. organic ingredients identified as organic in (d) Lead salts. an ingredients statement. (e) Potassium chloride—unless derived Biodegradable. Subject to biological from a mined source and applied in a decomposition into simpler biochemical or manner that minimizes chloride accu- chemical components. mulation in the soil. Buffer zone. An area located between a (f) Sodium fluoaluminate (mined). certified production operation or portion of a production operation and an adjacent (g) Sodium nitrate—unless use is land area that is not maintained under restricted to no more than 20% of the organic management. A buffer zone must crop’s total nitrogen requirement; use be sufficient in size or other features (such in spirulina production is unrestricted as windbreaks or a diversion ditch) to pre- until October 21, 2005. vent the possibility of unintended contact (h) Strychnine. by prohibited substances applied to adja- cent land areas with an area that is part of (i) Tobacco dust (nicotine sulfate). a certified operation. (j)–(z) [Reserved] Claims. Oral, written, implied or symbolic [68 FR 61992, Oct. 31, 2003] representations, statements or advertising or other forms of communication presented § 205.2 Terms defined [selected for to the public or buyers of agricultural relevance to crop production] products that relate to the organic certifi- Agricultural inputs. All substances or cation process or the terms “100 percent materials used in the production or han- organic,” “organic” or “made with organic dling of organic agricultural products. (specified ingredients or food groups),” or, in the case of agricultural products contain- Agricultural product. Any agricultural com- ing less than 70 percent organic ingredi- modity or product, whether raw or pro- ents, the term “organic” on the ingredients cessed, including any commodity or prod- panel. uct derived from livestock, that is marketed Commingling. Physical contact between in the United States for human or livestock unpackaged organically produced and non- consumption. organically produced agricultural products Allowed synthetic. A substance that is during production, processing, transporta- included on the National List of synthetic tion, storage or handling, other than during substances allowed for use in organic pro- the manufacture of a multi-ingredient prod- duction or handling. uct containing both types of ingredients.Page 8 ATTRA Organic Standards for Crop Production
  9. 9. Compost. The product of a managed pro- of appropriate varieties and planting sites,cess through which microorganisms break proper timing and density of plantings,down plant and animal materials into more irrigation and extending a growing sea-available forms suitable for application son by manipulating the microclimate withto the soil. Compost must be produced green houses, cold frames or wind breaks.through a process that combines plant andanimal materials with an initial C:N ratio of Detectable residue. The amount or pres-between 25:1 and 40:1. Producers using ence of chemical residue or sample compo-an in-vessel or static aerated pile system nent that can be reliably observed or foundmust maintain the composting materials in the sample matrix by current approvedat a temperature between 131 and 170 analytical methodology.degrees Fahrenheit for three days. Produc- Disease vectors. Plants or animals that har-ers using a windrow system must maintain bor or transmit disease organisms or patho-the composting materials at a tempera- gens that may attack crops or livestock.ture between 131 and 170 degrees for 15days, during which time the materials must Drift. The physical movement of prohib-be turned a minimum of five times. ited substances from the intended target site onto an organic operation or portionControl. Any method that reduces or limits thereof.damage by populations of pests, weeds ordiseases to levels that do not significantly Emergency pest or disease treatment pro-reduce productivity. gram. A mandatory program authorized by a federal, state or local agency for the pur-Crop. A plant or part of a plant intended to pose of controlling or eradicating a pest orbe marketed as an agricultural product or disease.fed to livestock. Employee. Any person providing paid orCrop residues. The plant parts remaining volunteer services for a certifying a field after the harvest of a crop, whichinclude stalks, stems, leaves, roots and Excluded methods. A variety of methodsweeds. used to genetically modify organisms or influence their growth and development byCrop rotation. The practice of alternat- means that are not possible under naturaling the annual crops grown on a specific conditions or processes and are not consid-field in a planned pattern or sequence ered compatible with organic successive crop years so that crops of Such methods include cell fusion, micro-the same species or family are not grown encapsulation and macroencapsulation andrepeatedly without interruption on the recombinant DNA technology includingsame field. Perennial cropping systems gene deletion, gene doubling, introducing aemploy means such as alley cropping, foreign gene and changing the positions ofintercropping and hedgerows to introduce genes when achieved by recombinant DNAbiological diversity in lieu of crop rotation. technology. Such methods do not includeCrop year. The normal growing season for the use of traditional breeding, conjugation,a crop as determined by the Secretary of fermentation, hybridization, in vitro fertil-Agriculture. ization or tissue culture.Cultivation. Digging up or cutting the soil Fertilizer. A single or blended substanceto prepare a seed bed, control weeds, aer- containing one or more recognized plantate the soil or work organic matter, crop nutrient(s) that is used primarily for itsresidues or fertilizers into the soil. plant nutrient content and is designed for use or claimed to have value in promotingCultural methods. Methods used to plant growth.enhance crop health and prevent weed,pest or disease problems without the use of Field. An area of land identified as a dis-substances. Examples include the selection crete unit within a production ATTRA Page 9
  10. 10. Handle. To sell, process or package agri- growth, moderate soil temperature or con- cultural products, except such term shall serve soil moisture. not include the sale, transportation or Narrow range oils. Petroleum derivatives, delivery of crops or livestock by the pro- predominately of paraffinic and napthenic ducer thereof to a handler. fractions with 50 percent boiling point (10 Inert ingredient. Any substance or group mm Hg) between 415 and 440 degrees. of substances with similar chemical struc- National List. A list of allowed and prohib- tures if designated by the Environmen- ited substances as provided for in the Act. tal Protection Agency other than an active ingredient which is intentionally Natural resources of the operation. The included in any pesticide product (40 CFR physical, hydrological and biological fea- 152.3(m)). tures of a production operation, including soil, water, wetlands, woodlands and Label. A display of written, printed or wildlife. graphic material on the immediate con- tainer of an agricultural product or any Non-synthetic (natural). A substance that is such material affixed to any agricultural derived from mineral, plant or animal mat- product or affixed to a bulk container con- ter and does not undergo a synthetic pro- taining an agricultural product, except cess as defined in section 6502(21) of the for package liners or a display of written, Act (7 U.S.C. 6502(21)). For the purposes of this part, non-synthetic is used as a syn- printed or graphic material that contains onym for natural as the term is used in the only information about the weight of the Act. product. Organic. A labeling term that refers to an Labeling. All written, printed or graphic agricultural product produced in accor- material accompanying an agricultural dance with the Act and the regulations in product at any time or written, printed or this part. graphic material about the agricultural product displayed at retail stores. Organic matter. The remains, residues or waste products of any organism. Lot. Any number of containers which con- tain an agricultural product of the same Organic production. A production system kind located in the same conveyance, that is managed in accordance with the warehouse or packing house and which are Act and regulations in this part to respond available for inspection at the same time. to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological and mechanical prac- Manure. Feces, urine, other excrement and tices that foster cycling of resources, bedding produced by livestock that has not promote ecological balance and conserve been composted. biodiversity. Market information. Any written, printed, Organic system plan. A plan of manage- audiovisual or graphic information, includ- ment of an organic production or handling ing advertising, pamphlets, flyers, cata- operation that has been agreed to by the logues, posters and signs, that is distrib- producer or handler and the certifying uted, broadcast or made available outside agent and that includes written plans con- of retail outlets and are used to assist in the cerning all aspects of agricultural produc- sale or promotion of a product. tion or handling described in the Act and the regulations in subpart C of this part. Mulch. Any non-synthetic material, such as wood chips, leaves or straw, or any syn- Pasture. Land used for livestock grazing thetic material included on the National that is managed to provide feed value and List for such use, such as newspaper maintain or improve soil, water and vegeta- or plastic, that serves to suppress weed tive resources.Page 10 ATTRA Organic Standards for Crop Production
  11. 11. Pesticide. Any substance which alone, in Sewage sludge. A solid, semisolid or liquidchemical combination or in any formula- residue generated during the treatment oftion with one or more substances is defined domestic sewage in a treatment works. Sew-as a pesticide in section 2(u) of the Federal age sludge includes but is not limited toInsecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act domestic septage, scum or solids removed(7 U.S.C. 136(u) et seq.). in primary, secondary or advanced waste- water treatment processes and a materialPlanting stock. Any plant or plant tissue derived from sewage sludge. Sewage sludgeother than annual seedlings but includ- does not include ash generated during theing rhizomes, shoots, leaf or stem cuttings, firing of sewage sludge in a sewage sludgeroots or tubers used in plant production or incinerator or grit and screenings generatedpropagation. during preliminary treatment of domesticPractice standard. The guidelines and sewage in a treatment works.requirements through which a produc- Soil and water quality. Observable indica-tion or handling operation implements a tors of the physical, chemical or biologicalrequired component of its production or condition of soil and water, including thehandling organic system plan. A practice presence of environmental contaminants.standard includes a series of allowed andprohibited actions, materials and condi- Split operation. An operation that producestions to establish a minimum level perfor- or handles both organic and non-organicmance for planning, conducting and main- agricultural products.taining a function, such as livestock health Synthetic. A substance that is formulatedcare or facility pest management, essential or manufactured by a chemical processto an organic operation. or by a process that chemically changes aProducer. A person who engages in the substance extracted from naturally occur-business of growing or producing food, ring plant, animal or mineral sources,fiber, feed and other agricultural-based except that such term shall not apply toconsumer products. substances created by naturally occurring biological processes.Production lot number/identifier. Identifi-cation of a product used for quality con- Tolerance. The maximum legal level of atrol purposes and based on the production pesticide chemical residue in or on a rawsequence of the product showing the date, or processed agricultural commodity ortime and place of production. processed food.Prohibited substance. A substance that the Transplant. A seedling which has beenuse of in any aspect of organic production removed from its original place of produc-or handling is prohibited or not provided tion, transported and replanted.for in the Act or the regulations of this part. Unavoidable residual environmental con-Records. Any information in written, visual tamination. Background levels of naturallyor electronic format that documents the occurring or synthetic chemicals that areactivities undertaken by a producer, han- present in the soil or present in organicallydler or certifying agent to comply with the produced agricultural products that areAct and regulations in this part. below established tolerances. Wild crop. Any plant or portion of a plantResidue testing. An official or validated ana- that is collected or harvested from a sitelytical procedure that detects, identifies and that is not maintained under cultivation ormeasures the presence of chemical sub- other agricultural management.stances, their metabolites or degradationsproducts in or on raw or processed agricul- [65 FR 80637, Dec. 21, 2000, astural products. amended at 72 FR 70484, Dec. 12, 2007] ATTRA Page 11
  12. 12. Organic Standards for Crop Production: Highlights of the USDA’s National Organic Program Regulations By Ann H. Baier NCAT Agriculture Specialist © 2008 NCAT Holly Michels, Editor Robyn Metzger, Production This publication is available on the Web at: or IP332 Slot 329 Version 112608Page 12 ATTRA