Organic Rules and Certification

All differences in one table by Subjects

  • Subject Areas
    • Crop production
      • Soil fertility and biological activity
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Conversion, microbial levels - NL SKAL Standards 2005
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When, in special occasions, the microbiological activity is at a very low level, caused by mechanical non-penetrable covering, organic farming can only start 6 months after appropriate management of the soil.
SKAL defines a norm for the time needed for microbiological activity to recover after covering, whereas the EU Regulation 2092/91 has not defined such a period. See EU rule text: "Annex I, part a) 1.2: However, the inspection authority or body may decide, in agreement with the competent authority, to recognise this retroactively as being part of the conversion period" Microbial activity is necessary for good organic farming systems.
Crop rotation - Demeter International 2005
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Sustainable soil fertility requires sufficient legumes and a high proportion of leaf crops in the rotation. (DI production standards, 3. Arable plant production)
The DI standard is slightly more precise in the aspect of how to design an adequate crop rotation. The prerequisite for good development of leaves, flowers and fruit/seeds is a vital living soil that allows good root penetration. The design of this growing area is of greater importance for the health of the plant than are individual plant husbandry measures.
Crop rotation - PL Ekoland Standards 2005 To satisfy nitrogen needs of the farm at least a 20% share of legume crops (as a main crop) should be grown on arable land. Catch crops should be grown on at least 20% of arable land acreage. (3.2.4) The EU Regulation 2092/91 demands the cultivation of legumes, green manures or deep-rooting plants in an appropriate multi-annual rotation programme, but does not specify minimal shares as the PL Ecoland standards do. One of the basic methods of soil conservation is properly designed crop rotation system.
Fertilization, biodynamic prepaparations - CH Demeter Standards 2005
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Specific bio-dynamic preparations enhance soil fertility and the health of crops. These preparations are defined as field sprays (cow-horn manure, horn silica) and compost preparations (camomile, oak bark, dandelion, yarrow, stinging nettle, valerian). The full effect can only be expected when all the preparations (compost and spray preparations) are used in composted manures and as crop sprays at least once throughout the year.
Specific bio-dynamic preparations help to regulate cosmic and earth-bound forces. They soil fertility and contribute to improve the nutritional quality of the crops. EU Regulation 2092/91 gives standards for fertilization requirements but does not extend the definition of fertility to aspects of superior life forces. Bio-dynamic farming includes the aspect of earthbound and cosmic forces, which can be regulated with the support of specific bio-dynamic preparations. Only the combination of manuring and application of bio-dynamic field sprays would lead to increased fertility of soil and to a (holistic) nutrional quality of the crops.
Fertilization, biodynamic preparations - Demeter International 2005
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The biodynamic preparations should be made on the farm itself and applied regularly in manures and compost and on the whole farm area. (DI production standards, 1. Principles; DI production standards, 4. Biodynamic Preparations)
There is no requirement about the preparation or application of the biodynamic preparations in the EU Regulation 2092/91. It is stated however, that these preparations can be used for the activation of compost. The use of the biodynamic preparations is an indispensable aspect of the biodynamic method. The fabrication of the preparations on the farm itself and with ingredients collected from the farm will strengthen the development of an individuality of the farm organism and help the consciousness and understanding of the connections in nature by the farmer.
Fertilization, biodynamic preparations, cosmic rhythms - Demeter International 2005
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The Biodynamic method has largely to do with the forming of living interactions, where the correct timing of measures which affect living processes plays an important role. To this belongs in particular also the conscientious and regular use of the Biodynamic preparations, and the consideration of cosmic rhythms in plant production and animal husbandry. (DI production standards, 1.principles)
There is no requirement to consider cosmic rhythms or to use the biodynamic preparations in order to individually develop the "farm organism" in the EU Regulation 2092/91. Each farm shall be developped into a "living organism" and has to be worked out in an individual way. The consideration of cosmic rhythms and the application of the biodynamic preparations are important measures to help the "farm organism" to develop. These measures have been laid down in the "Agricultural Course" of Rudolf Steiner, which is the basis of the biodynamic method.
Fertilization, general requirements - CH Demeter Standards 2005
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Composted farm yard manure (preferably from own animal husbandry) with specific bio-dynamic preparations (plant extract additives) enhances soil fertility and the soil quality. Farms should have their own animal husbandry. Only in exceptional cases fare arms without animal husbandry accepted (e.g. fruit orchards, horticulture).
Manure applied should preferably originate from own animal husbandry and must be composted with specific bio-dynamic preparates. An exception from the DEMETER certification is required if no animals are reared on the farm. The EU Regulation 2092/91 makes no preferences for the origin of the nutrients applied, but only requires that farm yard manure has to be from extensive husbandry. Enlivening the soil and the maintenance and development of soil fertility are basic objectives of the bio-dynamic method. The greatest influence in this regard (besides sound soil tillage and crop rotation) is the careful use of composted and prepared manures from ruminants, in particular from cows.
Fertilization, general requirements - US NOP 2002
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The producer must manage crop nutrients and soil fertility through rotations, cover crops, and the application of plant and animal materials. The producer must manage plant and animal materials to maintain or improve soil organic matter content avoiding contamination. Approved fertilizers: (1) Raw animal manure (subject to further restrictions) (2) Composted plant and animal materials (3) Uncomposted plant materials (4) A crop nutrient or soil amendment included on the national list of synthetic substances allowed for use in organic crop production (6) A mined substance of low solubility (7) A mined substance of high solubility, provided that the substance is used in compliance with the conditions established on the national list of nonsynthetic materials prohibited for crop production. (Article § 205.203 and § 205.205)
There are only differences regarding manure and compost (see these sections) compared with EU Regulation 2092/91. A producer of an organic crop must manage soil fertility, including tillage and cultivation practices, in a manner that maintains or improves the physical, chemical, and biological condition of the soil and minimises soil erosion.
Fertilization, intensity - Nature et Progrès Standards 2001
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The organic nitrogen input from external sources (composted manure or fish fertilizer) is limited to 40 kg per ha and per year.
Nature et Progrès standards limit the organic nitrogen import to 40 kg per ha and per year, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 limits it to 170 kg per ha and per year. The fertility and the biological activity of the soil must be maintained or increased, in the first instance, by cultivation of legumes, green manures or deep-rooting plants in an appropriate multi-annual rotation programme. Too much nitrogen in soil causes water pollution and crop diseases.
Fertilization, intensity and import - CH Regulation 2005
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The source of brought-in manures is restricted by the positive list of admitted fertilizers in organic farming. For export of manure from the own operation of more than 1 LSU/year, a contract must exist with the farm receiving this manure. This farm must be managed according ecological principles and can not exceed adequate nutrient limits as set by the legislation.
Import of farm yard manure and compost can only occur if a contract exists with the exporting farm and nutrient needs of crops are not exceeded (evidence must be provided by calculation). The EU Regulation 2092/91 limits the nutrient input of farm yard manures to 170kgN/ha; while neither of the farms (the exporting farm and the receiving farm) may exceed this limit. Organic farming should be performed based on the principle of a closed system with self sufficiency in fertilizer supply but no excessive manure should be produced nor applied.
Fertilization, substrates, microbial recolonisation - Demeter International 2004
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After steam sterilisation of growing substrates the recolonisation by microbes should be guided using the biodynamic preparations. (DI production standards, 3.4.2. Manures, soils and potting mixes; DI production standards, 3.4.5.Production under glass and plastics; DI production standards, 3. Arable and Plant production)
The DI standard contains further requirements. There is no requirement or recommendation regarding microbial recolonisation of steamed growing substrates. The use of biodynamic preparations is not required by the EU Regulation 2092/91. To enliven the soil is one of the basic principles of biodynamic agriculture. To fertilize means to enliven the soil.
Fertilizers, substrates - CH Bio Suisse Standards 2005
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Fertilization should enhance microorganism and soil activity . The use of synthetic chemical nitrogen fertilizers is forbidden. Dried farm yard manure is in general prohibited.
In general the list of fertilizers is comparable with the EU Regulation. Some fertilizers of the EU Regulation 2092/91 list are not listed in the BIO SUISSE standards. Easily soluble nutrients in general do not support the natural balance of nutrient release in the soil; therefore Bio Suisse does not support such kind of fertilizers.
Fertilizers, substrates, green manure - DE Naturland Standards 2005
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Green manure has to be grown on areas that are not covered by a crop for more than 12 weeks during the vegetation period. (NL standards on production: Part B. III. Market gardening, 1.6 Part B. V. Cultivation of ornamental plants, herbaceous perennials, shrubs, Christmas trees 1.4)
The NATURLAND requires the growth of green manure on land which lies idle for more than 12 weeks. The EU Regulation 2092/91 more generally recommends the cultivation of green manure among other measures to maintain and increase the soil fertility. To keep the soil covered with vegetation is a vital instrument to maintain and increase the soil fertility.
Int. IFOAM Standards 2005: Floor cover in perennial crops
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For perennial crops, the certifying body shall set minimum standards for orchard/plantation floor cover and/or diversity or refuge plantings in the orchard. (4.3.2.)
EC Regulation does not address the matter. An appropriate cover crop helps to prevent erosion and loss of nutrients in perennial crops.
Manure fertilizers and compost - CH Regulation/Ordinance 2005
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Farmyard manure and compost should be derived from own organic operation or from other extensive farms.
In general the list of fertilizers is comparable with the EU Regulation 2092/91. Some fertilizers of the EU list are restricted in the positive list of the Swiss Ordinance (e.g. guano) No justification was available.
Manure fertilizers, application - FI Luomuliitto Standards for "Leppäkerttu" quality label 2004 It is required that all animal manure used for growing products intended directly for human consumption must be composted. There is no such requirement in the EU Regulation No. 2092/91. Composting of the manure is regarded as important in the eyes of the consumers.
Manure fertilizers, application - FR Nature et Progres Standards 2002
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Farmers have to compost animal manure for three months before using it as fertilizer.
Nature et Progres standards requires the composting of manure whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 does not. Using animal manure without composting may result in high levels of nitrogen on the fields that can pollute water stocks or create disorders in plants' growth. Using manure without composting may also contaminate fields with germs and parasites.
Manure fertilizers, general principles - DE Bioland 2005
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The basis of fertilization is the spreading of the farms own manure to support soil life and increase the humus content. (Bioland production standards, 3.5.1 Basic Principles)
The BIOLAND standard requires own manure basis for each farm, while there is no recommendation in the EU Regulation 2092/91 to have own manure as a basis of fertilization. The aim is to ensure the recycling of organic matter on the farm and build up a sustainable system to maintain and increase soil fertility.
Manure fertilizers, intensity - CH Bio Suisse Standards 2005
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The amount of nitrogen and phosphorous input per hectare is strictly limited, in general to max 2.5 LSU/ha or less depending on the crops.
Limits for the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus provided by different means of fertilisation are restricted by Bio Suisse; for different crops specific limits apply - whereas the sum of phosphorus applied by fertilisation is taken into consideration as well as nitorgen levels. The EU Regulation 2092/91 sets general limits for ferilisation intensity only for nitrogen: maximum application per yeare is 170kg nitrogen/ha. In order to avoid excessive use of fertilizers and successive contamination of the environment by leached nutrients, BIO SUISSE limits use of both nitrogen and phosphorous to effective levels required by crops.
Manure fertilizers, intensity - DE Naturland Standards 2005
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The use of fertilizers is restricted. The total amount of fertilizers applied may in general not exceed the equivalent of 1.4 du/ha/year (112 kg N and 98 kg P2O5). In accordance with the NATURLAND extension services and related to the results of soil analyses and the specific demand of the crop, more than 110 kg N/ha and year can be applied in greenhouses. For perennials (including orchards), shrubs and christmas trees the limit is 90 kg N/ha/year. In viticulture only 150 kg/N/ha in three years is allowed, while in the latter the amount of one year may not exceed 70 kg N/ha. The amount of bought in fertilizers is limited with 0.5 DU/ha and year (40 kg N). (NL standards on production: Part B.I.Plant production, 1.Humus management and fertilization; Part B.III. Market gardening 1; Part B. V. Cultivation of ornamental plants, herbaceous perennials, shrubs, Christmas trees 1; Part B. Fruit cultivation 1; Part B. Viniculture and wine production 2; Part B. Permanent tropical plantations 1.)
The NL standard is very differentiated in limiting the amount of manure which can be applied for different types of crop production. According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 the amount of fertilizer (animal manure) is limited to 170 kg N/ha/year without any explicit limit for the amount of commercial fertilizers bought in. Fertilization shall primarily support the accumulation of humus complexes in the soil. The amount of fertilizer is to assure the activity of the soil in the long run. Over-fertilization shaould be avoided. The organic production is directly linked to the natural conditions and production capacities of the site.
Manure fertilizers, intensity and import - CH Demeter Standards 2005
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Imported organic farm yard manures may not exceed 50% of the quantity which is needed for the crops on farm. Commercial mineral and organic fertilizers are accepted but restricted according to their quality and origin and should undergo composting.
EU Regulation 2092/91 does not limit the import of commercial fertilizers. It only limits the application of farm yard manure to 170kgN/ha. DEMETER does limit this application to the LSU equivalent that could be fed on the farms own fodder basis. DEMETER also limits the distance for transporting farm yard manure. Own animal husbandry is an important factor in a farm organism as definied by DEMETER. The lack of own animals should not be underlined by importing manures: instead own animal husbandry should be established. Furthermore, imported fertilizers can only be applied if used in combination with composted or prepared animal fertilizers.
Manure fertilizers, intensity and import - CH Regulation 2005
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The source of brought-in manures is restricted by the positive list of admitted fertilizers in organic farming. For the export of manure of more than 1 LSU/year, a contract must exist with the farm receiving this manure. This farm must be managed according ecological principles and must not exceed adequate nutrient limits as set by the legislation.
Import of farm yard manure and compost can only occur if a contract exists with the exporting farm and nutrient needs of crops are not exceeded (evidence must be provided by calculation). EU Regulation 2092/91 also requires that farm yard manure is exported to an organic farm and all farms involved in the cooperation must comply with the nutrient limit of max 170kgN/ha. Organic farming should be performed based on the principle of a closed system with self sufficiency in fertilizer supply but no excessive manure should be produced nor applied
Manure fertilizers, origin - CH Regulation 2005
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The source of brought-in manures is restricted by the positive list of admitted fertilizers in organic farming. For export of manure from the own operation of more than 1 LSU/year, a contract must exist with the farm receiving this manure. This farm must be managed according ecological principles and can not exceed adequate nutrient limits as set by the legislation.
Import of farm yard manure and compost can only occur if a contract exists with the exporting farm and nutrient needs of crops are not exceeded (evidence must be provided by calculation). The EU REgulation 2092/91 limits the nutrient input of farm yard manures to 170kgN/ha in general: this limit applies for the exporting farm as well as for the receiving organic farm. Organic farming should be performed based on the principle of a closed system with self sufficiency in fertilizer supply but no excessive manure should be produced nor applied
Plant protection, copper - CZ PRO-BIO 2004 Total dosage of copper is maximum 3 kg Cu (2+)/ha/year (metallic copper). If copper preparations are used, the copper soil content has to be analysed each 6th year. Copper application is restricted to lower quantities, and if applied the soil copper content has to be determined. EU Regulation 2092/91 Annex II/B IV admits 8 kg/ha of copper (till the end of 2005 and max 6 kg/ha of copper from 2006 onwards (with special rules for perennial crops). Copper is being accumulated in the soil: in order to promote soil fertility; any accumulation of heavy metals should be avoided - therefore copper applications are restricted. Standards require the use of preventive measures (crop rotation, crop cultivation, choice of varieties) too.
Soil management, perennial crops - CH Demeter Standards 2005
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Soil of perennial crops must be covered all year round.
While DEMETER requires a full vegetative cover of the soil in perennial crops, EU Regulation 2092/91 does not cover this aspect. Multiple soil tillage and lack of cover crops lead to erosion and loss of organic matter in the soil. Constant vegetation will minimize such unfavourable effects in perennial crops and increases the level of organic matter in the soil.
Soil management, perennial crops - DE Naturland Standards 2005
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In permanent cropping systems the soil must be covered with vegetation (with exemptions). (NL standards on production: Part B. I.Plant production 1. Humus management and fertilization; Part B. VI. Fruit cultivation, 1. Humus management and fertilization; Part B. VII. Viniculture and wine production 1. Treatment of the soil)
The NATURLAND standard is more specific as there is no such requirement of soil cover in the EU Regulation 2092/91. To keep the soil covered with vegetation is a vital instrument to maintain and increase the soil fertility.
Soil management, steam sterilisation - CZ KEZ Standards 2005 Prior approval is called for thermal steam sterilisation of the soil (the applicant must prove that there is no other effective alternative). No similar paragraph concerning the thermal sterilisation is quoted in the EU Regulation 2092/91. Annex I/A/3 permits control of pests, diseases and weeds by a combination of the measures. Conditions of the use of thermal sterilisation are not discussed there. Nature conservation, protection of soil fauna and flora is the main reason for this restriction.