Are you considering moving to an organic diet for your flock? If you are, you’re not alone. Demand for organic products, including feed, is up everywhere.
In fact, on Sept 18, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the results of the 2014 Organic Survey, which showed that 14,093 certified and exempt organic farms in the United States sold a total of $5.5 billion in organic products in 2014. This number is up a whopping 72% since 2008. The state of Colorado ranked 8th in the U.S. for organic sales in 2014.*
The demand for organic is growing by leaps and bounds and over the past 5 or more years has continued strong upward growth, showing itself to be a true consumer behavior, and not just a fad.
What does the USDA Organic Certification mean?
Think of organic as a whole approach to the end product. From the seeds that are planted to the way the crop is grown and cared for, harvested, processed and stored, and all the way to your animal’s feeder, the product has to meet strict regulations that are overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture. Overall, organic operations must demonstrate that they are protecting natural resources, conserving biodiversity, and using only approved substances. A USDA-accredited certifying agent must verify production practices before products can be labeled USDA organic.
The plants that produce any USDA organic feeds are verified by USDA to meet organic production standards. They also receive annual, on-site inspections to verify continued compliance and maintain certification.
How Does this Affect My Flock?
The decision to feed an organic chicken feed is a personal one, and it is one that will depend on many factors, including product availability, cost, and personal beliefs. The benefit that many claim is the peace of mind that the feed that is going into their birds (and in production situations onto their family’s table) is monitored and raised in a way that adheres to the standards put forth by the United States Department of Agriculture. Many people depend on this assurance that what they’re feeding their flock is, in fact, the best possible product for them.
Article by Tiffany Towne, Nutrena Feed and Nutrition Marketing Communications
*Survey results are available at www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/Organic_Survey/ or the Quick Stats database at http://quickstats.nass.usda.gov. To learn more about what it means to be USDA Certified Organic, visit www.usda.gov/organic
Nutrena NatureSmart Organic Poultry Feed is now available – look for it in a Murdoch’s location near you! Whether you’re starting your chicks, supporting your layers or raising meatbirds, Nature Smart® Organic Feeds are expertly formulated with all the wholesome, nutritious ingredients your flock needs. And because it’s made from responsibly sourced, USDA Certified Organic ingredients, you can feel good that you’re doing the right thing—for your flock and for your family. To learn more about this product line, visit them at www.nutrenaworld.com/poultry-feeds.