> Anybody have any suggestions for an effective organic pig
> wormer?Thanks in advance,GregGunthorp's Pasture-ized Pork
> LaGrange, Indiana (a stones throw from Ohio & Michigan)
> visit our farm at www.grassfarmer.com
Hello Greg and all,
By the late 1940's the "Kern County System" and the similar "Illinois System"
for control of internal parasites in hogs were perfected. The final
conclusion of each system was do not put hogs on the same pasture for at least
2 years after weaning each litter. USDA published much on both. The
"Systems," though somewhat out of vogue, are consistent with organic
principals and consistent with OFPA. Have you been doing such Greg in your
pasture hogs and still had too many internal parasites?
You wondered about the use of vermifuges in organic farming. A point to note
is that under the Organic Foods Production Act one of the 11 categories of
synthetic substances that can be CONSIDERED for inclusion on the National List
of Allowed Synthetics is synthetic parasiticides. Any farmer, manufacturer,
etc can petition the National Organic Standards Board, NOSB, for inclusion of
such a synthetic substance, providing information on the reasoning for
considering the substance and specifying the proposed specific use or
application. The OFPA language would allow consideration of synthetic
parasiticides for hogs by specific use or application.
Not withstanding the possibility of considering a synthetic hog parasiticide,
some members of the National Organic Standards Board and many members of the
organic community, many livestock producers with certified organic farms
included, feel synthetic parasiticides should not be used at all. Part of
their reasoning relates to our on the organic farm experiences that livestock
management is the key to the highest quality product and what the organic
customer desires, not synthetic parasiticides.
The other part of their reasoning relates to the following OFPA Sections
Section 2119 (m)
EVALUATION. In evaluating substances considered for inclusion in the proposed
National List or proposed amendment to the National List, the Board shall
(1) the potential of such substances for detrimental chemical interactions
with other materials used in organic farming systems;
(2) the toxicity and mode of action of the substance and of its breakdown
products or any contaminants, and their persistence and areas of concentration
in the environment.
(3) the probability of environmental contamination during manufacture, use,
misuse or disposal of such substance;
(4) the effect of the substance on human health;
(5) the effects of the substance on biological and chemical interactions in
the agroecosystem, including the physiological effects of the substance on
soil organisms (including the salt index and solubility of the soil), crop and
(6) the alternatives to using the substance in terms of practices or other
available materials; and
(7) its compatibility with a system of sustainable agriculture
Following the OFPA procedures, a proposed synthetic parasiticide would have to
be weighted against their potential impact as outlined above. Furthermore,
these procedures outlined in OFPA must be followed by the NOSB performing:
Section 2119 (3) TECHNICAL ADVISORY PANELS. The Board shall convene technical
advisory panels to provide scientific evaluation of the materials considered
for inclusion in the National List. Such panels may include experts in
agronomy, entomology, health sciences and other relevant disciplines.
OFPA Section 2119 (I) REQUIREMENTS. In establishing the proposed National
List or proposed amendments to the National List, the Board, shall
(1) review available information from the Environmental Protection Agency, the
National Institute of Environmental Health Studies, and such other sources as
appropriate, concerning the potential for adverse human and environmental
effects of substances considered for inclusion in the proposed National List;
(2) work with manufacturers of substances considered for inclusion in the
proposed National List to obtain a complete list of ingredients and determine
whether such substances contain inert materials that are synthetically
Each of the inert substances within the synthetic hog parasiticide being
considered for the National List must also be petitioned, reviewed evaluated
and included in the National List for the product to be used in organic
livestock production. OFPA Section 2118 mandates this.
Lastly, both the NOSB and the Secretary of Agriculture are directed by OFPA to
meet the criteria of Section 2118 (c)(1)(A)(iii) that a substance "is
consistent with organic farming." Both the NOSB and the Secretary each have
the authority to eliminate any petitioned synthetic substance from inclusion
on the USDA's National List as not "consistent with organic farming."
As you can see by following the OFPA language, it is very difficult for a
synthetic to actually be used in organic farming.
And back to a natural vermifuge, there are a large number, but their only
efficient use in my experience is on sows or boars. Even than, isn't there
something wrong with the organic farm plan and management system if internal
parasites, as confirmed by fecal test, are at a level so as to be detrimental
to the adult animal and a new litter of pigs?
Market hogs, being only held on the organic farm for 5 to 6 months, should be
managed in a way to not allow buildup of parasites to detrimental levels
without use of vermifuges.
I take it we all are operating on the understanding that we never eliminate
all parasites, bacteria, fungi, etc in organic livestock (do they in
conventional livestock production?). As in organic crop production, in
organic livestock production, we manage for practical control of pests, not
theoretical annihilation of pests.
Just to get all the facts regarding the language of the Organic Foods
Production Act out on the livestock table. For a meat or fish product to
labeled and sold as "organically produced," with the exception of poultry, the
language of OFPA indicates the livestock must be fed and managed within an
organic system from the last third of gestation. In fact, in the time after
weaning and up to the last third of gestation, livestock on organic farms
could be treated with a synthetic parasiticide and still produce an
"organically produced" product.
On Tobacco Greg states:
Anybody have any ideas on the rate of Tobacco to use? Where do I get
organic tobacco? Would the most effective(and safest) way to use it be to
grind it in the feed? That way I could distribute it evenly to all the pigs.
Isn't tobacco potentially lethal?
Tobacco is I believe one of the few natural substances that has been
considered by the NOSB as a prohibited substance in organic farming.
Eric Kindberg, certified organic farmer
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