UPDATE: NOP Guidance on Seeds, Annual Seedlings, and Planting Stock

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Date Published: 
March 14, 2013
Update: This is an update to the version published in our E-Newsletter on 3/11/13

On February 28, the NOP issued a final guidance on Seeds, Annual Seedlings, and Planting Stock in Organic Crop Production as part of the National Organic Program Handbook. Included with the guidance is a NOP response to the comments it received on this topic in 2011. The guidance follows many of the provisions of the 2008 NOSB recommendation about seeds and planting stock, and clarifies the practices for certified operations to demonstrate their proactive efforts to procure organic seeds and planting stock. There is also a discussion of seed treatments for use in organic production. The guidance clarifies that there are the same requirements for commercial availability for both annual and perennial planting stock, and that they are treated the same for the production of an organic crop. Nonorganic perennial stock (such as lavender and other perennial herbs, fruit trees, nut bushes, etc.) must be managed organically for one year before being sold or represented as organic perennial planting stock (there is no transition time for the perennial planting stock required for the production of an organic crop).