Organic ruminant livestock--such as cattle, sheep, and goats--must consume at least 30 percent of their dry matter intake (on average) from certified organic pasture. The rest of their diet must also be certified organic, including hay, grain, and other agricultural products.
Due to the severe drought, USDA is granting a temporary variance from these requirements (Sections 205.237(c) and 205.240 of the USDA organic regulations) with the following restrictions:
- This temporary variance applies only to organic ruminant livestock producers located in counties declared as primary natural disaster areas by Secretary Vilsack.
- This temporary variance applies to non-irrigated pasture only.
- Producers must supply at least 15 percent of their dry matter intake (on average) from certified organic pasture.
- This temporary variance applies to the 2012 calendar year only.
Letter Granting Temporary Variance
USDA Drought Relief Efforts