NODPA E-Newsletter is delivered monthly to subscribers, and contains news and resources for organic dairy producers in the Northeast.
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NODPA Field Days 2016

Please save the date for the 16th Annual NODPA Field Days on Thursday and Friday, September 29th and 30th in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania where we will feature a farm tour of organic dairy farmer Cliff Hawbaker, who owns two farms in Franklin and Cumberland counties in Pennsylvania. We are excited to announce that our Keynote Speaker on Thursday evening will be John Kempf, Founder, Advancing Eco Agriculture. Look for more details in the May NODPA News.

FOOD Farmers asks for extension on comment on Animal Welfare Regs

The Federation of Organic Dairy Farmers (FOOD Farmers) has requested an additional 30 days (to July 1, 2016) for comments on the Proposed Rule, National Organic Program, Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices. Many of the provisions are a surprise and require detailed evaluation and discussion with our members. Despite many comments submitted to the National Organic Standards Board in 2010 and 2011, this Proposed Rule has many provisions that make no sense to organic livestock farms and in fact are different from NOSB recommendations from 2011. FOOD Farmers have formed a committee to work on comments to this rule but we need more time as this is a very busy time of year for livestock producers. To download a copy of the request letter, click below:

Request for extension

Letter from the Field:

NOP PROPOSED RULE ANIMAL WELFARE ADDITIONS

Read the attached creative and tongue in cheek letter from George Wright, an organic dairy producer of long standing, who has suffered the frustration of working within the organic standards to make a living for his family and employees. He was one of those that labored to supply sensible comment and reflection back in 2010 and 2011 thinking that it would be listened to and taken to heart. He is also a producer that has always been willing to travel to advocate for other producers and for the integrity of the organic seal. Please read the full letter with an open mind:

Dear NOP ...

Creative Application of Grazing Science

by Sarah Flack

“In the last few years, while working on writing a book, I’ve had the opportunity to visit many successful organic dairy farms and learn more about how farmers in different climates have successfully designed and managed their pastures.  I visited farms providing all or most of the herds dry matter from pasture during the grazing season, as well as farms on more limited land bases where grazing only provides 40 to 50% of the herd’s intake needs.  Some used only perennial plants, while others used innovative mixtures of both annuals and perennials.  The successful grazing systems were each unique and creatively designed to meet the farm and farm family goals.” To read the complete article by Sarah, please go to:

Grazing Science

Letter to the Editor
“I recently received the current paper edition of NODPA News [January, 2016] and read with interest the article about the young couple focused on building a life for themselves on the dairy farm in the NE Kingdom.  At 64 years old, I have learned that it is human nature to complain, and that farmers are not immune from this.” To read the complete letter from Charlie Green, Moravia, NY please go to:

Letter to the Editor
 

Organic Exemption from Check-offs for all certified operations

As of March 1, 2016, all organic operations can exempt themselves from paying into conventional check-offs. To read more about the process please go to:

in_check_off_
exemption_application_
032816.shtml

To download the form for organic dairy producers to use, please go to:

AMS Organic
Exemption Form

For exemption forms for other commodities please go to:

https://www.ams.usda.
gov/resources/
rp-organic-exemption
 

For those that have not yet claimed their money back, don’t delay – it’s not often that as a small business you get tax money back!

Help USDA AMS decide if there is support for an Organic Check-Off– register your opposition now

NODPA is AGAINST ANY ORGANIC CHECK-OFF and will continue to organize against it, but OTA has purchased the right to submit a proposal so we need to ensure any process is democratic. USDA AMS has questioned the support for OTA’s proposal so please register your opposition to a check-off (if you haven’t already done so) by going to www.noorganic
checkoff.com
or write directly to Ed Maltby, NODPA, 30 Keets Road, Deerfield, MA 01342.

NODPA E-News
April 29, 2016


Recent ODairy Discussions

There was a good discussion on the use of hydrated lime on organic farms.  It is generally regarded as a prohibited substance; some certifiers will not allow its use for any purpose, but one producer pointed out that the NOP regulations specifically allow hydrated lime as an external pest control.  It specifically disallows its use to “cauterize physical alterations or deodorize animal wastes”. Other uses are not discussed in the standards. One producer wanted to use hydrated lime in bedded pack pens at clean out to sanitize the pen before clean bedding and new animals were introduced.  The farmer said his certifier would not allow it, and others on the list suggested that this was a misinterpretation of the rule.  A consultant suggested that very clear and precise communication is needed with the certifier in these situations, especially where a substance may be allowed for one type of use, but prohibited in another.  A crop farmer added that hydrated lime is very caustic and chemically reactive if applied to soil, certainly the reason why it is not allowed as a fertilizer.  But he feels that it is an important product for barn sanitation, and after reacting with water and organic matter (from manure and wet surfaces), it goes through a chemical change bringing its pH to  near neutral by the time it is spread onto the fields with the manure. To read the full article please click here.

Join Odairy

The ODairy email list serve hosts robust discussions on many different issues, some practical, some on policy, some on politics and some just exchanging news on the organic community. ODairy is blessed by having so many committed veterinarians experienced in organic production who take an active part in the discussions on the list serve. There is no one way to solve a health problem in organic production.  Also, Odairy is a great place to advertise animals for sale and organic feed that is available.

To join the active and informative email list serv, or to visit ODairy's archive, clicking here.

Upcoming Events

Check out our comprehensive listing of upcoming conferences, workshops and other events. Click here for details.

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Support NODPA

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