Growers who produce crops via hydroponics, aquaponics, or aeroponics should be aware that the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is considering recommending that USDA revoke the ability for hydroponic, aquaponic, aeroponic, and other container-based growing methods to be certified organic. This is according to an update from growers at Upstart University, which educates local growers about modern production techniques.
Currently, growers using these methods are able to receive organic certification under USDA’s National Organic Program.
“It is critical that members of the hydroponic, aquaponic, and aeroponic community make their voices heard by the NOSB to ensure this certification continues to be available for soilless and container-based growers and that consumers can continue to have an ample supply of reasonably priced, organic, fresh produce,” according to the update.
There are a number of ways that growers can make their voices heard on this topic:
• The NOSB is accepting grower comments as its members prepare for a vote on October 15. To submit comments, go to the NOSB Organic Comments website and write a message telling the NOSB that you believe your growing methods should remain organic. You can write your own message or find pre-written comments.
• Sign up to give a three-minute testimony during two webinars on October 24 and 26.
• Sign up to attend the NOSB Fall Meeting in person and provide an in-person, three-minute testimony.
• Contact your federal Congressional representatives and tell them you want the NOSB to retain the organic eligibility of sustainable growing methods like aquaponics, hydroponics, and aeroponics.
Upstart Farmers has provided a list of talking points you may want to use to prepare for any comment or testimony you may want to provide.