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National Organic Program
Organic Hydroponic Crop Production  

Organic hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium, such as perlite, gravel, biochar, or coconut husk. Some organic farms are utilizing hydroponic growing methods to produce organic crops under the USDA organic regulations. These producers use the same fertilizers and pest control practices as other organic farmers Ė primarily natural fertilizers and pest control methods. Organic hydroponic production is allowed as long as the producer can demonstrate compliance with the USDA organic regulations.

Accredited certifying agents are certifying organic hydroponic operations based on the current organic regulations and the operationís Organic System Plan. In the future, the NOP may provide additional guidance regarding organic hydroponic production and how the regulations apply to such methods.

The National Organic Advisory Board (NOSB) completed their final recommendations on crop production in containers and enclosures (e.g. greenhouses) greenhouses in 2010. The NOSBís 2010 recommendation included a provision for not allowing organic hydroponic production. The NOP continues to work on evaluating and implementing a backlog of older NOSB recommendations including the greenhouse recommendation. Any proposed changes based on the NOSBís greenhouse recommendation that would affect organic hydroponic operations would involve opportunities for public comment.

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  Last Modified Date: 05/06/2014