FAQs by pasture rule

Yes, breeding bulls, animals denied pasture in accordance with temporary confinement allowances (§ 205.239(b)(1-8), and slaughter stock in the finishing phase are exempt from the 30% dry matter intake (DMI) requirement. Bulls cannot be sold, labeled or represented as organically produced if they are denied pasture. Those animals temporarily denied pasture must obtain at least 30% of their DMI... Read more

No, organic animals may only be fed certified organic feed, including pasture; however, dairy operations that are in their third year of organic management may feed crops and forage from land that is in its final year of transition during the 12 months immediately prior to the sale of organic milk. This allowance is provided to reduce the financial burden to dairy farms that want to... Read more

Yes, non-organic animals can graze on certified organic land without affecting the land’s certification. If organic and non-organic animals are pastured in the same field, they must be clearly identified in a manner that will prevent commingling of the final organic product (meat, milk, etc.).

Yes, you may store organic and non-organic feed in the same area ONLY if there is clear identification and labeling of feed and you ensure there is no commingling of the organic feed and non-organic feed.

Animals must be allowed to graze whenever pasture is available. Local geography and climate will determine the number of days that pasture is actually available in a given area but organic ruminants must graze for at least 120 days per year. Oftentimes organic animals will graze 365 days per year. If irrigation water is available to your operation, it must be used to extend the length of the... Read more

Dry matter is what remains after all of the water is evaporated out of a feed: grain and fresh or dried forages. Fresh pasture has high water content and will have a lower percentage of dry matter than an equivalent weight of dryer feed, such as hay or grain. Dry matter is an indicator of the amount of nutrients that are available to the animal in a particular feed. Livestock need to consume... Read more