USDA Publishes Guidance on Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation for Organic Operations

January 15, 2016

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will publish a Federal Register notice announcing final guidance on Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation for Certified Organic Operations.

Conserving natural resources and biodiversity is a core principle of organic production.  This final guidance provides organic certifiers and farms with examples of production practices that support conservation principles and comply with the USDA organic regulations, which require operations to maintain or improve natural resources.  The final guidance also clarifies the role of certified operations, certifiers, and inspectors in the implementation and verification of these production practices.

In addition, the final guidance clarifies ways to reduce paperwork burdens for those domestic organic operations that participate in a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) program.

On Dec. 29, 2014, AMS published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of draft guidance on this subject and requesting public comment.  This final guidance takes into consideration comments provided on the draft guidance document.

View the Federal Register Notice

View the Final Guidance:  NOP 5020: Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation