feed and supplements

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Can I store organic and conventional feed in the same barn?

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.

Can I use a non-organic feed?

No, you must use 100% certified organic feed. There are no exceptions.

Can I use de-wormers to treat animals for parasites?

At this time, the only synthetic parasiticides allowed for organic producers are ivermectin, moxidectin, and fenbendazole. You may only use these synthetic drugs for emergency treatment of dairy animals and breeder stock. Animals to be sold as organic slaughter stock may never be treated with these materials. Plant-based, herbal de-wormers and other non-synthetic materials are also allowed as parasiticides.

Do feed supplements and additives need to be certified organic?

Many allowed feed supplements and additives are not certified organic. These include products that contain primarily vitamins and minerals. Any agricultural ingredients in feed additives or supplements, such as grains or molasses, must be organic. Feed additives and supplements may not contain genetically modified organisms or mammalian or poultry slaughter byproducts.

How is the health of organic livestock maintained?

Livestock health care is largely based on preventive practices such as balanced nutrition and reduction of stress through exercise, freedom of movement, and appropriate housing. Vaccines and other veterinary biologics are allowed, as well as herbal preparations, and a limited number of synthetic materials. All health care products must be listed in your Organic System Plan.

What are the specific rules for ruminant animals?

Ruminant animals are required to graze pasture anytime during the year that pasture is available for grazing. If pasture is not available for at least 120 days per year, the ruminants cannot be certified organic. Organic standards also require that animals obtain a certain percentage of their daily diet, or ration, from pasture. Grazing must provide at least 30% of an organic ruminant’s total dry matter requirement. Ruminant producers are required to track the amount of each feed fed throughout the year and also calculate the amount of dry matter that animals graze from pasture.

What is dry matter and why is this important?

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.

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