Certified organic crops serve as the base feedstuffs for organic livestock nutrition. However, the use of some synthetic substances is allowed in organic pork production. Synthetic substances allowed under the National Standards on Organic Agricultural Production and Handling (2000) and non-synthetic substances may be used as feed additives and supplements. While not prominently stated in the National Standards, FDA-approved forms of vitamins and minerals are allowed in organic diets even though they may not be considered natural substances or appear on the national list of Synthetic Substances Allowed for use in Organic Production. Use of these ingredients in the formulation of organic diets may have economic and nutritional benefits.
Consult the national organic standards and your certifying agency for specifics on allowances during the period of conversion to organic status.
Electrolytes without antibiotics used to treat dehydration due to diarrhea in young pigs
Magnesium sulfate used as a laxative agent for gestating and lactating sows
Milk replacers without antibiotics used for disadvantaged, starving piglets but must not contain non-milk products or milk products from BST-treated cows
Copper sulfate an inorganic copper source used for trace mineral supplementation
Vitamins FDA approved synthetic vitamins used for enrichment or diet fortification. However, natural sources such as sprouted grains and brewers yeast may be preferred by some certifying agencies.
Citric acid used to acidify baby pig diets
Bentonite used as a pellet binder and may be effective in reducing adverse performance effects due to mycotoxin contamination of grain.
Calcium carbonate and calcium chloride an inorganic source of supplemental calcium
Enzymes derived from edible, nontoxic plants, nonpathogenic fungi, or nonpathogenic bacteria (It is not clear whether some forms of microbial phytase may be used to improve phosphorus digestibility of grain.)
Potassium chloride used as a laxative agent for gestating and lactating sows
Potassium iodide an inorganic iodine supplement
Non-synthetic, non-GMO yeast a feed additive
Flavors non-synthetic sources only and must not be produced using synthetic solvents and carrier systems or any artificial preservatives
Dried skim milk and dried whey these ingredients can be used only if derived from organically produced milk
NOTE: Some of the above materials may be used only with permission from the certifying agency. In some certifying organizations, seaweed, kelp meal, natural rock powders, and molasses are preferred sources of trace minerals.
The Federal Organic Standard defines records as any information in written, visual, or electronic form that documents the activities undertaken by a producer, handler, or certifying agent to comply with the Act and regulations in this part. The records are to be kept as an audit trail that will allow for the tracing of the sources of animals, sources of feed and amounts fed, forage, feed supplements, treatments, medications, and animal health.
Documentation begins with birth or purchase of the animals. Specific information will include: date born, date purchased, date sold, date died, date bred, date farrowed, and date weaned. If animals are sold, list buyers name. If the animal is to be slaughtered, then the date of slaughter, processors name, and markets sold to must be listed. The medical documentation will include the diagnosis of diseases, date of treatment, medication and dosage used, time of withdrawal period, and copies of all medication labels.
Documentation of the feeding program requires listing diet formulations, feed ingredient sources, date of purchases, copies of ingredient labels, and locations where the feed is stored. For on-farm grown ingredients, records of seeding date, seeding location, organic certification of land used, date harvested, where processed, and storage facilities used are required.
The reason for such thorough records is to ensure that no co-mingling of non-organic livestock or feed ingredients occurs, allowable medications are identified, and that proper medical attention has been given to sick animals regardless of certification status. These records also give the farmer a paper trail to prove that his or her animals have been raised according to certified practices.
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