FAQs by grower

Yes, our clients can transfer parcels, in the certification program, between CCOF certified operations without having to reapply. Simply complete the parcel transfer form and return it to us for each parcel transferred. You will be billed for the service at the time of submission. Parcel transfers must be submitted within one month of change in management and there must be continuous organic... Read more

Yes! The use of compost is encouraged. The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) and the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) both maintain lists of approved compost suppliers.

Manure-based composts must be produced according to NOP regulations in order to be considered compost. Composts composed entirely of plant-based materials are considered mulch and are generally... Read more

No, you cannot use lumber treated with arsenate or other prohibited materials for new installations or replacement purposes in contact with soil or livestock. You may use treated lumber on parts of your property that are not included in your certification or in areas where the lumber will not contact soil or livestock.

Seeds treated with prohibited materials are not allowed. Look to the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) or the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) lists of allowed materials to find seed treatments that are approved. Our staff will verify compliance of any seed treatments not on the OMRI or WSDA lists for you. Just complete and submit a Material Review Request Form for... Read more

The following individuals and businesses operating in the state of California must annually register with the State Organic Program:

Every person engaged in the production, handling, or processing of raw agricultural products sold as organic Retailers that are engaged in the production of products sold as organic Retailers that are engaged in the processing, as defined by the NOP, of... Read more

Yes, transplants must be from certified organic sources. Growers must maintain certificates and invoices showing all annual transplants are certified organic.

There are two situations in which transplants may come from nonorganic sources:

Non-organically produced annual seedlings may be used to produce an organic crop when a temporary variance has been granted in accordance with... Read more

Yes, "Certified Transitional" is a status granted to growers who are transitioning their crops from conventional to organic. To achieve “Certified Transitional” status, operations must be inspected and demonstrate compliance with all requirements for certified organic production except the three year transition time. To sell a crop as “Certified Transitional,” the grower must wait until one... Read more

Most materials containing inert ingredients do not specify which list these ingredients are on. Organic production allows only EPA List 4 synthetic inerts in pesticides. Verification from the manufacturer that synthetic inert ingredients, contained in pesticides, are on List 4 is needed to demonstrate compliance. Often times manufacturers are unwilling to disclose the identity of inerts, but... Read more

Yes, as long as you use inputs, such as potting soil, pesticides and fertilizers, allowed under organic standards.  Treated wood is not allowed in contact with plants or soil.

For crops other than sprouts, organic seed must be used unless organic versions are not commercially available. Growers are required to search for organic seed and must document this search in order to demonstrate that organic seed was not commercially available. This documentation may be in the form of a log showing calls made, product/supplier catalogues, letters received, or other... Read more

The land requirements for wild crops are the same as managed crops. Verification that the land has been free from prohibited substances for a period of three years prior to harvest of the wild crop is required. CCOF Organic System Plan section G2.0 covers the land use history requirements and the documentation needed for verification.

Under the NOP there are specific requirements for the use of raw manure.

Raw animal manure must be composted unless it is:

Applied to land used for a crop not intended for human consumption. Incorporated into the soil no less than 120 days prior to the harvest of a product whose edible portion has direct contact with the soil surface or soil particles (such as lettuce).... Read more

The NOP regulations do not have specific prescriptive requirements regarding distance for buffering your organic crop from potential contaminants. Prior to implementation of the NOP, 25 feet was used as a baseline for appropriate buffers. CCOF still uses this as a threshold of concern to guide our decision making process along with other mitigating factors such as physical barriers and... Read more

Visit our Emergency Pest or Disease Treatments page for more information.

U.S. farmers and ranchers, agricultural educators, and farmer-assistance organizations can get answers about specific farming practices from ATTRA. Ask an expert.

Need outside help? CCOF cannot actively consult with our clients regarding organic certification compliance. We do offer a list of organic consultants and agriculture and pest advisors as a resource. This list includes names... Read more

A wild crop is a plant or portion of a plant that is collected or harvested from a site that is not maintained under cultivation or other agricultural management. This means that in order for a crop to be considered wild it cannot be watered, fed or otherwise managed. In order to certify a wild crop as organic it must be harvested in a manner that ensures that such harvesting or gathering... Read more

An amendment to an existing registration is required when an operation has one or more of the following changes to their registration:

Addition of new facilities or growing locations in California Change of ownership Addition of production acreage A  change/addition of operation type(s).

A registrant shall notify the Department of any change in the information reported on the... Read more

Visit our Organic Seed Resources page for details on seed requirements or our list of seed suppliers who carry organic seed.

Your diligence in sourcing organic seed helps to strengthen the organic seed sector.

Crops intended for human consumption and whose edible portion has direct contact with the soil surface or soil particles require a 120 day pre-harvest interval (PHI). A 90 day PHI is required for those crops whose edible portion does not come in contact with soil particles (i.e. orchard fruit). How the crop is grown and harvested with regards to soil contact will determine which pre-harvest... Read more