Drought affects organic pasture requirements

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program (NOP) has released a list of counties declared federal disaster areas due to severe drought where producers of organic ruminant livestock (cattle, sheep and goals) can cut the required amount of feed from organic pasture. The agency has issued a temporary variance to provide relief to affected farmers in these designated disaster counties by allowing them to supply just 15 percent of their dry matter intake (on average) from certified organic pasture. The variance applies to non-irrigated pasture only and for only the 2012 calendar year.

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