Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association


National Organic Program; Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Crops, Livestock and Handling)

December 27, 2018 – Federal Register – This rule changes the use restrictions for seventeen substances allowed for organic production or handling on the National List. This rule also adds sixteen new substances on the National List to be allowed in organic production or handling. In addition, this final rule lists the botanical pesticide, rotenone, as a prohibited substance in organic crop production. This final rule removes ivermectin as an allowed parasiticide for use in organic livestock production and amends our regulations to allow the use of parasiticides in fiber bearing animals. Finally, this rule inserts corrections of instructions and regulation text as listed in the proposed rule.


Agriculture Secretary Narrows Sites for Office Moves that Democrats Oppos

December 26, 2018 – By Charles S. Clark, Government Executive – Proceeding apace with his controversial plan to move two research offices out of Washington, D.C., Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Dec. 21 announced the criteria that will be used to narrow the 136 bids from state, local, academic and industry stakeholders to host the offices.


There's A Lot At Stake In The Weekly U.S. Drought Map

December 26, 2018 – By Grace Hood, Maine Public – Crippling drought this year has caused more than $1 billion in damage. As it has played out, anyone affected by the drought or trying to manage it has turned to a once obscure map that has become key to understanding what's happening: the U.S. Drought Monitor.


The Maine Winemakers Utilizing Hybrid Grapes

December 26, 2018 – By Erinne Magee, Wine Enthusiast – It's tough to grow grapes in unpredictable weather, but winemakers in Maine tackle the cold climate with hybrid grapes, co-ferments and gumption.


Maine Farmland Trust offers art, writing residencies at Jefferson center

December 26, 2018 – Penobscot Bay Pilot – Applications for the 2019 residencies at Maine Farmland Trust’s (MFT) Joseph A. Fiore Art Center opened in early December and will close March 1. This summer the Center will offer six visual art residencies: four for Maine artists, one of which is reserved for a Native American artist; one for an out-of-state artist, and one for an international artist. In addition, the Center will offer one performance/interdisciplinary arts residency and one literary arts residency for Maine applicants, as well as a new academic writing residency open to applicants from New England.


USDA Gives Consumers Sham GMO Labeling Program for the Holidays

Creates Giant Loopholes, Encourages Barriers to Information and Confuses Terminology

December 24, 2018 – Amidst the holiday season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced its final standard for labeling foods derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The 63-page report, entitled the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, falls far short of ensuring the public's right to know about GMO-foods.


Rising demand for grass-fed dairy viewed as market bright spot

December 24, 2018 – By Jenessa Freidhof, Leader-Telegram – The demand for grass-fed dairy products continues to grow in the U.S., a highlight in a somewhat stagnant organic market, according to University of Vermont Extension Agronomist Heather Darby. During a recent eOrganic webinar, she discussed some of the challenges facing grass-fed dairy farmers.


FDA casts shadow on hemp win, calling CBD products illegal

December 22, 2018 – By Carla K. Johnson, AP – The hemp industry still has work ahead to win legal status for hemp-derived cannabidiol, or CBD oil, as an ingredient in food or dietary supplements despite the big farm bill President Donald Trump signed this week designating hemp as an agricultural crop.