feed and supplements

What are the specific rules for ruminant animals?

Ruminant animals are required to graze pasture anytime during the year that pasture is available for grazing. If pasture is not available for at least 120 days per year, the ruminants cannot be certified organic. Organic standards also require that animals obtain a certain percentage of their daily diet, or ration, from pasture. Grazing must provide at least 30% of an organic ruminant’s total dry matter requirement. Ruminant producers are required to track the amount of each feed fed throughout the year and also calculate the amount of dry matter that animals graze from pasture.

Do feed supplements and additives need to be certified organic?

Many allowed feed supplements and additives are not certified organic. These include products that contain primarily vitamins and minerals. Any agricultural ingredients in feed additives or supplements, such as grains or molasses, must be organic. Feed additives and supplements may not contain genetically modified organisms or mammalian or poultry slaughter byproducts.

Are there any ruminant animals that are exempt from the 30% DMI during the grazing season?

Yes, breeding bulls, animals denied pasture in accordance with temporary confinement allowances (§ 205.239(b)(1-8), and slaughter stock in the finishing phase are exempt from the 30% dry matter intake (DMI) requirement. Bulls cannot be sold, labeled, or represented as organically produced if they are denied pasture. Those animals temporarily denied pasture must obtain at least 30% of their DMI for the periods that they are on pasture.