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USDA passes down new rules for organic farming

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Department of Agriculture put forward new regulations regarding grazing for organic livestock.
The Department of Agriculture put forward new regulations regarding grazing for organic livestock.

Some people who use farm equipment may also take part in organic farming, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently passed down a new rule regarding the practice.

The new regulations are tied to the access of "organic" livestock to pastures. As a result, consumers can have better confidence that the organic products they are buying came from a pasture-based system.

"Clear and enforceable standards are essential to the health and success of the market for organic agriculture," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

According to the new rule, effective starting June 17, the grazing season must be at least 120 days of every year. During that time, animals must graze pasture. Furthermore, the animals must get a minimum of 30 percent of their dry-matter intake from grazing during that season.

Furthermore, producers are required to have a plan for pasture management. As a result, they will have to handle their pastures as a crop while maintaining water and soil quality.

According to another report from the USDA, sales of organic foods increased to $21.1 billion in 2008 from the $3.6 billion seen in 1997.
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