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AnnouncementFebruary 29, 2016

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is pleased to announce the National Organic Program's (NOP) response to the National Organic Standards Board's (NOSB) October 2015 recommendations. We are also announcing two natural resource conservation items: an addition to the NOP Handbook and a new blog post. 
NOP Response to NOSB October 2015 Recommendations
At its October 2015 meeting, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), a citizen advisory committee, made a number of recommendations concerning the USDA organic standards and National List. The NOP has posted a response to these recommendations. The response describes the background for each NOSB recommendation, the NOP's acknowledgement of each specific recommendation, and the NOP's plans for considering the recommendation. 
New Natural Resource Conservation Items:
NOP Handbook Instruction and Blog Post
The NOP announces two new items related to natural resources conservation: a new Handbook Instruction and a new blog post. 

Handbook Addition: NOP 2617:  USDA NRCS Conservation Activity Plan 138 for Organic System Plans and Requirements for Certifying Agent Technical Service Providers

This instruction clarifies the use of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) 138 as a complete or partial substitute for an Organic System Plan (OSP). The Instruction also clarifies requirements for certifying agent staff when serving as NRCS Technical Service Providers. This document is now part of the NOP Handbook

This new blog post from NOP and NRCS gives an overview of the importance of natural resource conservation in organic agriculture, and provides examples of how organic farmers implement natural resource conservation practices. 

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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