Drought conditions across the United States have had serious impacts on organic livestock producers, both in terms of the ability to graze on pasture and find organic feed supplies. The National Organic Program has announced a temporary variance for grazing requirements that will hopefully bring some relief to farmers across the country. Rather than having to provide 30% Dry Matter Intake (DMI) from grazing as an average over the grazing season, the temporary variance allows for 15% DMI from pasture.
This temporary variance applies to producers who graze on non-irrigated pasture in any county that has been declared a primary natural disaster area for 2012.
This temporary variance is ONLY applicable to operations in one of the affected counties, and applies only to pasture that is grazed upon. The requirement to purchase organic feed remains unchanged.