Organic operations must maintain or enhance soil and water quality, while also conserving wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used. Only products that have been certified as meeting the USDA’s requirements for organic production and handling may carry the USDA Organic Seal.

What is an Organic System Plan (OSP)?

A written plan, in accordance with the National Organic Program published in 7 CFR part 205, that describes all aspects of the organic farming practice that an insured and a certifying agency agree upon annually or at such other times as prescribed by the certifying agency.

OSP Requirements include, but are not limited to providing methods/practices for the following:

  • Crop Listing
  • Fertility
  • Pest Control
  • Disease Control
  • Weed Control
  • Seed-Planting Stock
  • Crop Rotation

IMPORTANT:  For crop insurance purposes, it is imperative that organic producers follow their OSP as approved by the certifier (National Organic Certification Issuer). Failure to comply with organic standards may result in application of uninsured cause of loss.

Six Steps to Organic Certification

  1.   Selection of a certifier
  2.   Application and submission of an OSP
  3.   Application and OSP review by the certifier (Organic Transitional Stage)
  4.   Organic Inspection
  5.   Review of the inspection report by the certifier
  6.   Organic Certification


Misconception Fact
Organic Farming does not use pesticides. Organic farming uses pesticides just as conventional farming does. The only difference is that (with a few exceptions) the pesticides used

in organic agriculture have to be derived from “natural” sources.

 Organic Farming can’t control weeds, because we can’t spray them.  Weeds can be controlled by various alternative methods such as: Variety Selection, High-crop Seeding Rates, Nurse Crops, Sanitation, Cover Crops,

Solarization, Cultivation, Flaming, Grazing, Hand Weeding, Mowing, Mulching, Transplanting and Weed Cloth or Black Plastic.

Tell me more!

For additional Organic information and requirements, view the “Resources” and “Quick Links” on the right-hand side of this page and/or attend one of our upcoming Organic Farming Practices trainings via webinar:

  • Thursday – February 14, 2019
  • Monday – March 25, 2019
  • Thursday – April 4, 2019

If you wish to register for one of our Organic Farming Practices webinars, please email

The information contained in this publication is for general purposes only and shall not modify the terms of any insurance policy. Please refer to policy information found in the actuarials for your commodity/plan type.