Drought Relief for Certified Organic Livestock Producers in Colorado

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Date Published
August 6, 2018
Many areas of Colorado are facing extreme drought conditions, leading to adverse impacts on the ability to graze livestock. In response to a request made by CCOF, the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) approved a temporary variance request pertaining to the livestock pasture standards. The variance applies to organic ruminant livestock producers located in the following Colorado counties: Alamosa, Cheyenne, Gunnison, Kiowa, Lincoln, Montrose, Rio Grande, Saguache, Kit Carson, and Washington. Ruminant livestock producers in these counties have been permitted to reduce the minimum dry matter intake from pasture from 30 percent to 20 percent. Additionally, the minimum grazing time required has been reduced from 120 days to 90 days. The temporary variance only applies to the 2018 calendar year in the affected counties listed above and does not allow operations to give their animals non-organic feed. 
CCOF will continue to advocate on behalf of operations in drought-affected areas as the year progresses if further action is required. If you are looking for resources to help you through the drought, such as financial or technical assistance, we encourage you to learn about the various funding resources available for farmers impacted by or recovering from disaster.  
For more information on how the temporary variance affects your operation, contact Val Davis at vdavis@ccof.org or (831) 423-2263, ext. 6284.