Organic Farming

A Need for More and Better Targeted Plant Breeding Research Grants

February 11, 2016

A sustainable, localized, and resilient food system depends on the availability of seeds that are compatible with a variety of unique growing systems and climates. Organic farmers, for example, have different approaches to managing weeds and pests on their farms than traditional producers and therefore require seeds that are bred for their particular type of […]

Organic Exemption from Checkoff Programs Expanded

February 9, 2016

Editor’s Note: We originally published the following post on December 31, 2015, when the the final rule to expand the organic exemption from commodity promotion (checkoff) programs was published in the Federal Register. The expanded exemption takes effect later this month, on February 29, 2016. We are now re-posting this update to include a recorded […]

Organic Farmer Survey Now Underway

February 9, 2016

The 2015 Certified Organic Survey, which collects data on acreage, production, and sales for a variety of certified organic crop and livestock commodities, is now underway via the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Certified organic crop and livestock producers have until February 19, 2016 to submit their data by mail or to complete the […]

Final Guidance on National Organic Program Provides Clarity for Farmers and Certifiers

January 19, 2016

Preservation of natural resources and the promotion of biodiversity and animal welfare are core principals of organic production. In order to support these principals and help farmers and certifiers to comply with organic requirements, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program (NOP) released its final guidance, Guidance on Biodiversity and Conservation, on Friday, January […]

$3.8 Million Available for Organic Farming Research Grants

January 11, 2016

On Thursday, January 7, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) released Request for Applications (RFA) for the Organic Transitions Research and Extension Program (ORG), making $3.8 million in funding available in FY 2016. The deadline for FY 2016 submissions is April 15, 2016. NSAC supports NIFA’s decision to not require any notification of […]

Organic Exemption from Checkoff Programs Expanded

December 31, 2015

The 2014 Farm Bill directed USDA to expand the rule that exempts organic farmers, handlers, and manufacturers from paying into commodity promotion (checkoff) programs to advertise, research, and promote conventional products. Under the old rules based on a 2002 Farm Bill provision, only farms and businesses producing 100 percent organic goods and no conventional goods […]

10 Ways USDA Can Address Climate Change in 2016

December 30, 2015

The new year presents a final window of opportunity for the Administration to act upon climate change

$17.5 Million Now Available for Organic Research

December 11, 2015

Yesterday, December 11th, the United States Department of Agriculture announced the availability of millions of dollars to help solve some of the most pressing challenges facing organic farmers today.

The (Un)Coordinated Framework of GE Regulations

November 30, 2015

Those tuned into the biotechnology regulatory landscape will have noticed quite a few changes and announcements from the federal government lately. Several agencies have been asking for public comments, announcing proposed rules, releasing guidance, and taking other actions related to biotechnology, or genetic engineering (“GE”). The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health […]

New Guidebook Will Help Organic Farmers Access Conservation Programs

November 19, 2015

On Thursday, November 19, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) published a new handbook to help NRCS field staff work more effectively with organic and transitioning-to-organic producers. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, which along with several of its member organizations contributed to the new guide, issued a press release on the […]

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