On April 5, 2022, the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) published the Origin of Livestock (OOL) Final Rule.  The new rule is specifically focussed on the organic dairy industry and designed to add clarity and promote a fair and competitive market for producers.  This new rule comes into effect June 6, 2022 and operators must comply fully with the new rule by April 5, 2023.

Certified operators should become familiar with the rule and consider how this rule may affect their operation.  For many, the new rule is consistent with practices already in place on the farm.  For some though, changes may be required to remain compliant, particularly as it relates to sourcing new animals for the farm.

The Origin of Livestock Final Rule can be found here, though it has also been incorporated into the complete regulations as well here

Overview of the OOL Final Rule

The new rule implements a number of changes to the existing regulations, specifically related to the Origin of Livestock used in Dairy Production including:

  • New definitions added for Organic Management, Third Year Transitional Crops and Transitioned Animal (NOP 205.2)
  • A new or transitioning dairy operation may only transition non-organic animals to organic production once (NOP 205.236)
  • After the initial transition of animals all animals added to the herd must have been organically managed from the last third of gestation (NOP 205.236)
  • During the initial 12 month transition of a herd to organic production, animals may also consume third year transitional crop produced on farm from land included in the Organic System Plan (NOP 205.236 (a)2(iii));
  • Roughages used as bedding shall be organically produced (NOP 205.239).

The NOP has also published a helpful Factsheet summarizing these changes resulting from the OOL Final Rule.

In considering the new rule it is more important then ever to ensure that you have accurate records of the origin and handling of all new livestock brought on to the operation. 

Our team is assessing what changes may be needed to ensure Organic System Plans are providing sufficient information to demonstrate compliance with the new rule.  We anticipate some minor changes needed to record keeping requirements and we want to thank you in advance for cooperating with our team members as we work to implement these changes over the next year.

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