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AnnouncementApril 25, 2014


The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is pleased to announce the public comment period for post harvest handling guidance, a USDA blog on one of the Farm Bill Listening Sessions, and an invitation to add or update listings in the National Farmers Market Directory.  


Post Harvest Handling Guidance


Today, the Federal Register published a notice to announce the public comment period for draft guidance on post harvest handling.  This draft guidance helps organic certifiers, farms, and businesses understand which substances may be used to wash, sort, cool, and sort (or otherwise "handle") raw agricultural products post-harvest. The guidance describes:


1)      Which substances may be used.

2)      The difference between post-harvest handling of  

         raw agricultural crops and further processing.

3)      The provisions for facility pest management.

4)      A proposed definition for post-harvest substances.


The AMS National Organic Program looks forward to responding to the community's public comments.   Comments are due by June 24, 2014.


Draft Guidance: Substances Used in Post-Harvest Handling of Organic Products   


Federal Register Notice: Substances Used in Post-Harvest Handling of Organic Products 


Comment on this Notice via 


Organic Listening Session Featured

On April 14, USDA hosted a listening session on the organic provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill. More than 80 participants shared their views on USDA programs that support the organic industry, and USDA appreciated the opportunity to hear comments from the organic community.  This week, AMS Administrator Anne Alonzo highlights the listening session in a USDA blog.  


Read Administrator Alonzo's blog

USDA Updating National Farmers Market Directory

Do you sell your products at one of the 8,000+ farmers markets across the country?  If so, AMS needs your help updating the National Farmers Market Directory.  The Directory relies on self-reported input from farmers market stakeholders. 


The Directory is one of the most comprehensive and up-to-date sources of information about farmers markets nationwide.  If you are part of a farmers market, encourage your market manager to add or update their listings in time for the peak market season.  The complete Directory will be released the first week of August.  Market listings can be added and updated at


Want to learn more?

Press Release

About the Agricultural Marketing Service

USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) facilitates the competitive and efficient marketing of agricultural products. Through its National Organic Program, AMS facilitates trade and ensures the integrity of organic agricultural products by consistently implementing organic standards and enforcing compliance with the regulations throughout the world. Learn more.

About the USDA Organic Insider

The USDA Organic Insider informs the organic community on a wide range of functions, including regulatory updates, requests for public comments, and USDA programs and services.

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