USDA Grants Temporary Variance to Certified Organic Livestock Producers

In response to requests made by CCOF and other certifiers, the National Organic Program (NOP) approved a temporary variance request pertaining to the livestock pasture standards. The variance applies to organic ruminant livestock producers located in California counties that have been designated as primary natural disaster areas. These producers, who typically graze their animals in February and March, are not required to graze or provide dry matter intake from pasture during February and March 2014, and may reduce their grazing season by the number of days in their grazing plan that fall in this time period.

The temporary variance only applies to the 2014 calendar year and does not allow producers to give their animals non-organic feed. The NOP will reassess this temporary variance over time to determine whether any additional action should be taken due to ongoing drought conditions.

To assist those affected by the drought, CCOF has opened its classified ads to link organic growers who have crop wastes or culls with organic livestock producers who need feed. View or place an ad. We have also developed drought resources page and will continue to monitor the drought situation and evolving needs of our members.

For more information on how the temporary variance affects your operation, contact CCOF Senior Livestock Certification Specialist Val George at or (831) 423-2263, ext. 51.