Internal parasites are the Achilles’ heel of organic livestock production. All livestock producers battle these invisible feed thieves and suffer annual economic losses in the hundreds of millions from lost efficiency and associated health problems. Making the challenge more difficult, organic producers face strict limitations on the tools they can use to treat a parasite problem. While many natural substances are touted as parasiticides, including diatomaceous earth, apple-cider vinegar, garlic, black walnut hulls and various herbs, there is little or no scientific evidence to back these claims—in many cases what few studies have been conducted are not promising.
Good management is your first and best defense: genetic resistance and tolerance, long pasture rotations, good sanitation and top-quality nutrition all help prevent heavy infestations of parasites. If fecal testing does show an acute problem, we offer a number of NOP-compliant parasite treatments that have been successful in published trials.
Affordable and informative fecal testing is available through MidAmerica Agricultural Research. They charge only $5 per sample and provide you with egg counts broken down by species of parasite.
While we try to stay current with product specifications, product formulations are subject to change without notice.
Inoculants, soil amendments, fertilizers, livestock supplies and pesticides are labeled as:
OMRI: Organic Materials Review Institute. Most state certifying agencies, including MOFGA, accept OMRI approval.
MOFGA: Reviewed and approved by the Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association Certification Services. Allowed for use on MOFGA-certified farms. Check with your certifier.
WSDA: Listed by the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Organic Certification division for use in organic agriculture in Washington State. MOFGA has indicated that they will accept products on this list for their certification program. Check with your certifier.
Nat’l List: One-ingredient products on the NOP* List of Allowed Substances (subpart G of the Organic Foods Production Act, sections 205.601-606). Check with your certifier.
AYC: Ask your certifier. Has not been reviewed by a certifier, but the active ingredient is allowed. Ask your certifier.
Not Allowed: A few of the products we list are not allowed for organic production but we think they have a place in sensible agriculture and can be used when certification is not an issue.