Update on Allowance of Sodium Nitrate for Crop Production

« Return to all Certification News

Response times may be slow due to the wildfires affecting Santa Cruz County and Covid-19. Organic compliance deadlines and inspections will be delayed for businesses affected by these crises. Read the latest updates on the Northern California wildfires, and visit our Covid-19 webpage to find pandemic-specific information »

Los tiempos de respuesta serán lentos debido a los incendios forestales afectando al condado de Santa Cruz y COVID-19. Los plazos de cumplimiento orgánico y las inspecciones se retrasarán para los negocios afectados por estas crisis.  Lea las últimas actualizaciones sobre los incendios forestales del norte de California y visite nuestra página web de Covid-19 para encontrar información específica a la pandemia »


Date Published: 
October 22, 2012
Sodium (Chilean) nitrate is currently allowed for use only so long as it is not more than 20% of the crops total nitrogen needs. This material is scheduled to sunset (come off) the list of prohibited natural materials in October. The National Organic Standards Board has recommended that it be relisted as completely prohibited; however, proposed rulemaking has not yet occurred, meaning that final rulemaking will not be achieved before the October deadline. The material will then come off the list and will be allowed without a specific restriction on quantity. The NOP published Notice 12-1 on September 11, 2012, to explain how operations using sodium nitrate should proceed. While sodium nitrate will be allowed in organic crop production after October 21, 2012, the NOP has reminded operations that they must still comply with the requirements to maintain or improve the natural resources of the operation (NOP 205.200) and comply with crop and nutrient and soil fertility requirements (NOP 205.203). If you plan to use sodium nitrate after October 21, 2012, in amounts greater than 20% of the crops total nitrogen needs, you will need to update your Organic System Plan to describe how you meet the other soil and nutrient requirements of the NOP. Please contact the CCOF Grower Department if you have questions.