Ask a Specialist Answer
Can I use my neighbor’s fertilizer if he’s certified by a different agency than me?
Since the materials you use are part of your specific organic system plan, you must verify with your own agency if it has reviewed and approved this product before you apply it to organic land or crops. Some, but not all, certification agencies will accept any OMRI-listed products, but you still must inform your agency if you choose to add an OMRI-listed product to your Organic System Plan’s list of inputs used on your organic land or crops. You can ask your certifier what the agency’s policy is on OMRI-listed brand name products to help you when deciding which products to purchase.
Since product formulations may change periodically, certifiers will want you to update each year what inputs you are purchasing and using, so they can check that they have current ingredient information to verify the product is still in compliance with the organic regulations.
It can be frustrating to know that some certifiers accept a product and others may not. However, the National Organic Program is currently working with the National Organic Standards Board to develop procedural guidelines for certifiers and organizations like OMRI, who review and approve these inputs for organic producers. Once these guidelines and NOP oversight are in place, this should provide a level of confidence between certifiers where they feel comfortable allowing the use of brand name products that have been reviewed and approved by another certifier who has met these NOP guidelines.
Posted: Aug 2009
Answer By: Harriet Behar