Organic Dairy Farmers Concern over New Rule

US - Dairy farmers in the West Marin district of California have hit out at a proposed new federal regulation designed to improve organic farm conditions.
calendar icon 23 December 2008
clock icon 1 minute read

They fear that it may put several local organic dairies out of business because of conditions unique to Marin.

According to the Marin Independent Journal, the US Department of Agriculture is considering adopting a regulation that would keep dairy cows in fields almost all the year.

The Journal says the proposal was made to force larger corporate farmers to use real pastures year-round as some large-scale producers now keep livestock in lots, then label their product as "organic" because the cows are not technically kept indoors.

But the rule could hurt West Marin organic producers because their pasture becomes unuseable during the rainy season.

The West Marin farmers also have to ensure that their livestock are away from creeks during the rainy season so that the water courses do not become contaminated.

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