IOA Submits Comments on NOP Livestock and Poultry Standards

The Iowa Organic Association has submitted comments to the NOP Livestock and Poultry Standards.  Read them here

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Proposed new Livestock and Poultry Organic Standards

The USDA National Organic Program recently announced a new proposed Rule on Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices. The proposed rule would clarify existing USDA organic regulations related to livestock and poultry production requirements, thereby ensuring consistency among organic producers and protecting the integrity of the USDA organic seal. 

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Action Alert-DRIFT

**ACTION ALERT**

February 15, 2016

Last week Iowa State Senator Dick Dearden introduced a bill (SSB 3125) that will improve pesticide spray drift testing for farmers across Iowa. It's time to contact your Senator and tell them you want a more efficient pesticide spray drift testing protocol.

 

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Iowa Organic Conference--Transition to Organic Mentoring

AMES, Iowa—The 15th annual Iowa Organic Conference will give farmers who are interested in transitioning to an organic operation the opportunity to meet individually with experts in the field. The conference will be held Nov. 22-23 at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, as a joint effort between Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the UI Office of Sustainability.

Farmers will have the chance to participate in farmer-to-mentor round tables with organic producers and those experienced with organic certification. In addition, event speakers will provide advice on organic grain crops, vegetable production, fruit cultivation and certification how-to tips.

“The U.S. market for organic products reached $39.1 billion in 2014 and the demand for organic grains and produce continues to exceed supply,” said Kathleen Delate, ISU Extension and Outreach organic agriculture specialist and professor in horticulture and agronomy. “Growers everywhere are encouraged to consider the potential for organic production.”

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2015 Organic Cost Share-IOWA

Submit Organic Cost-Share Materials by November 6, 2015!   

Reimbursable certification costs must have been paid by September 30, 2015!

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Organic Greenhouse Webinar

Organic Greenhouse Certification Webinar, August 6, 3-5pm CTgreenhouse.jpg

Iowa Organic Farmers invited to join CCOF's webinar on organic certification for greenhouses.

As urban farms continue to blossom, specialty greenhouses sprout up around the country, and mixed fruit and vegetable operations continue to produce their own transplants, CCOF has received more inquiries about the intricacies of organic certification for greenhouses. This webinar will cover what is necessary to certify your greenhouse.  The information shared is applicable for certification with any organic certification agency. 

Greenhouse production offers many advantages for organic growers. In addition to being used in specialty crop and custom transplant production, greenhouses offer opportunities for urban farmers or producers who wish to get a speedy start into organic production. They also serve as an integral part of many vegetable operations who produce their own transplants. 

Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/organic-greenhouse-certification-webinar-tickets-17506506432

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Organic Local Strawberries

  Strawberry Season is Here!   And... it's short!   strawberrypickingbasket.jpg

  Find local Iowa organic strawberries in the next few weeks and take full advantage of this delicious early summer treat!

 

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Organic Poultry Producers-- Keeping Avian Influenza out of Iowa Organic Flocks

Most of the outbreaks for Avian Flu in Iowa have occurred in areas far away from the majority of Iowa's organic poultry production. However, producers should be aware of basic biosecurity measures to employ on their farms to make sure they maintain healthy flocks this year as the risk is higher with so many large Iowa poultry facilities struck by H5N2.   IOA has put together a list of resources for organic poultry producers as well as this fun video, which reminds both the organic and backyard poultry producer what signs to look for in birds experiencing avian influenza.

usdachickenflu.jpg USDA Video on Signs of Healthy & Sick Chickens

 

Resources

Biosecurity Guide for Poultry and Bird Owners (USDA APHIS)

Biosecurity for Birds: Avian Influenza (one-page poster in both English and Spanish)

Avian Influenza Findings Emphasize the Need for Good Biosecurity (USDA APHIS 2-pager)

NOP Policy Memorandum on Confinement of Poultry Flocks Due to Avian Influenza, or Other Infectious Diseases (2011)

IDALS Avian Influenza Updates (2015)

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IOA members featured in NRCS Soil Health Videos!

NRCS Profiles in Soil Health

In these short video profiles you can hear directly from some of the nation’s leading farmers to find out how they’re using soil health management systems to make their farms more profitable, productive and sustainable.

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Demand for Organic Continues to Grow! Organic Sales Hit 11% jump in 2014

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OTA Organic Market Report
Maggie McNeil
April 15, 2015
Throughout America, folks can’t get enough of organic. From the Atlantic Seaboard to the Pacific Coast, from Detroit to Houston, households of all sizes and income levels, and individuals of all ages, ethnic backgrounds and political leanings are buying organic.

Sales of organic food and non-food products in the United States broke through another record in 2014, totaling $39.1 billion, up 11.3 percent from the previous year, according to the latest survey on the organic industry from the Organic Trade Association (OTA).

Despite the industry struggling with tight supplies of organic ingredients, organic food sales in 2014, at $35.9 billion, posted an 11 percent rise, while organic non-food sales, at $3.2 billion, jumped almost 14 percent for the biggest annual increase in six years.

In blue states and red states, across the heartland of America and all along the Gulf Coast, sales of organic products are posting double-digit increases. The majority of American households in all regions of the country now make organic a part of their supermarket and retail purchases – from 68 to almost 80 percent of households in southern states, to nearly 90 percent on the West Coast and in New England, according to new market research released Wednesday at OTA’s Annual Policy Conference.

“On the heels of organic sales now nearing a milestone 5 percent share of the total food market, organic stakeholders have gathered in Washington to educate lawmakers and policymakers. Our latest industry data show robust demand and great opportunity for the organic sector,” said Laura Batcha, CEO and Executive Director of OTA. “OTA’s consumer survey has already found that organic doesn’t have any demographic boundaries; this additional new data prove it doesn’t have regional or partisan boundaries.”

OTA’s Organic Industry Survey is the most accurate and comprehensive quantitative picture of the U.S. organic industry available. It was conducted and produced by Nutrition Business Journal. Over 200 companies responded to the survey, conducted this year from February 10 through April 3. The full survey will be available in mid-May through OTA.

Also released at the conference were the results of data collected from over 100,000 households across the country through IRI Shopper Network of bar code items purchased at supermarkets and other retail outlets. Compiled by SPINS, a market research firm for the organic and natural industry, the findings show booming growth trends for organic, and an increasing penetration by organic into conventional channels.

The U.S. organic sector has expanded significantly since OTA first began tracking the industry’s performance in 1997. In 1997, organic food sales totaled around $3.4 billion, and accounted for under 1 percent of total food sales. In 2014, organic food claimed almost 5 percent of the total food sales in the U.S., and has consistently far outshone the 3 percent growth pace for the total food industry.

Organic fruits and vegetables continued to be the biggest-selling organic category in 2014 with $13 billion in sales, up 12 percent from the previous year, and making up more than 36 percent of all organic food sales. Of all the produce now sold in the United States, 12 percent of it is organic, a market share that has more than doubled in the past ten years when organic produce sales accounted for only 5 percent of the fruit and vegetable market.

The organic dairy sector posted an almost 11 percent jump in sales in 2014 to $5.46 billion, the biggest percentage increase for that category in six years.

Sales of organic non-food products – accounting for 8 percent of the total organic market – posted the biggest percentage gain in six years, with sales of organic fiber and organic personal care products the stand-out categories.

“In this most political of towns, it’s nice to talk about something that is non-partisan, and that is today’s organic market,” said Batcha. “Organic cuts across all regions, all ages, all income groups, all states whether they’re red states or blue states. Organic is the face of America.”

- See more at: http://www.ota.com/news/press-releases/18061#sthash.w80dlkLW.dpuf

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