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Organic News

MDA Seeking Pest Information from Lentil Growers

What vertebrate animals have damaged your crops?

MDA Seeking Pest Information from Lentil Growers

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is seeking to gather information from lentil growers who have, are or will be suffering damage from vertebrate pests. As part of the MDA’s vertebrate pest program, Department staff gathers information and photos related to certain pests and the damages they cause to certain crops. This information helps the Department develop training materials, which in turn are used to educate producers to help them more easily identify and manage vertebrate pests.

State Hail Insurance Staff to Hold Meetings Throughout Montana

Producers reminded to get covered at

State Hail Insurance Staff to Hold Meetings Throughout Montana

Helena, Mont. – While we are currently dealing with the fits and starts of springtime in Montana, its important to remember that hail season is right around the corner. Staff from the Montana Hail Insurance program will soon be visiting communities throughout Montana to sell policies and educate producers on the program.  

USDA Seeks Comments on Proposed Rule for National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard

The deadline for comments is July 3, 2018

USDA Seeks Comments on Proposed Rule for National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard

WASHINGTON, May 3, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture today invited public comment on the proposed rule to establish the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard mandated by Congress in 2016. The standard will provide a uniform way to offer meaningful disclosure for consumers who want more information about their food and avoid a patchwork system of state or private labels that could be confusing for consumers and would likely drive up food costs.

Comments may be submitted online through the Federal eRulemaking portal Comments may also be filed with the Docket Clerk, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 4543-South, Washington, DC 20250; Fax: (202) 690-0338.

The deadline for comments is July 3, 2018.

The proposed rule previewed in the May 3, Federal Register.


MDA Organic Certification Program
Phone : (406) 444-7804
E-mail :
Fax : (406) 444-9466
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

How to be Certified

  1. Go to the Organic Program Forms page
  2. Fill out the Application Form
  3. Pay the annual application fee
  4. Complete or update your Organic System Plan
  5. The Organic Program reviews submitted forms
  6. Notice of Inspection is sent
  7. Inspections are scheduled annually by the inspector
  8. On-site inspection
  9. Pay inspection fee
  10. Final review of inspection report and documents
  11. Notice of Certification and Organic Certificate sent

Application Deadlines

  • New applicants can apply at any time.
  • Renewals:
    • Producers: Submit application and updates and all fees by March 15.
    • Handlers: Submit application and updates and all fees by September 15.
  • Submissions must be received by those dates to avoid incurring a late fee. Allow 5-7 days for mailing.

If you want to transition to Organic Certification

Ten Steps to Transition Checklist: Written for prospective producers, this checklist outlines 10 steps for transitioning to organic certification. This easy-to-scan handout, in both English and Spanish, introduces new farmers to the certification process. Materials also include sample documents for organizations that want to host their own "Certification Made Simple" Workshops. Produced by USDA AMS with the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF).

Recommended Recordkeeping

For Producers

  1. Seed Labels and Purchase Invoices or Receipts
  2. Seed Search Documentation (at least 3)
  3. Material Labels for those that are Used – Inoculants, Weed and Pest Control, Soil Amendments, Fertilizers, etc.
  4. Livestock Feed and Supplements Labels and Purchase Invoices/Receipts (if applicable)
  5. Livestock Feeding Records (if applicable)
  6. Pasture Management Records (if applicable)
  7. Field Activity Records/Field History Records
  8. Planting & Harvest Dates
  9. Yields
  10. Crop Storage Records/Bins
  11. Sales Invoices, Bills of Lading, Scale Tickets
  12. Crop & Acreage Plan (available on the Forms page) (New & Renewal)
  13. Detailed Maps size 8 ½ x 11 Google Color Preferred
  14. Photos as Applicable for Verification

For Handlers

  1. Receiving Documents for All Ingredients (purchase orders, purchase invoices, freight bill of lading, scale tickets)
  2. Production Records
  3. Recipes or Current Product Profiles (available on the Forms page)
  4. Current Organic Certificates from Ingredient Suppliers
  5. Equipment Clean-out and Purge Logs
  6. Sales Invoices & Bills of Lading
  7. Material Invoices (Cleaning, Packaging Materials etc.)
  8. Ingredient and Final Product Inventory Reports
  9. Shrink Log
  10. Pest Control Log and Labels for Materials used for Pest Control
  11. Detailed Sales by Item Reports for Organic Products (available on the Forms page)