I have a small dairy herd, milking about 30 cows. It is a pasture system and I don’t raise any row crops. Do I have to get my pastures certified in order to sell organic milk?

Yes, your pastures must be certified. The pastures, and how they are managed, must be described in your Organic System Plan, which you submit to your certification agency. You need maps showing all of the pastures. The maps can be aerial photos, surveyor maps, plat maps, hand drawn, or computer generated. You also need to submit a field history showing all inputs and crops grown. For pastures, this should be relatively simple. You also need to assess your pastures to …

I’m an organic dairy farmer. What can I use for fly control in the barn and in the milk house?

In order to be certified organic, you must implement preventative practices and proactive management to control flies and other pests, both in the barn and in the milk house. Approved strategies include: 1) augmentation or introduction of predators or parasites of the pest species; 2) development of habitat for natural enemies of pests; and 3) non-synthetic controls such as lures, traps, and repellents.

Good manure management; pasture rotation; clean, dry bedding; moisture control; and release of fly parasites are all …