15.22.02.05

.05 Seeds, Seedlings, and Planting Stock.

A. A producer may grow a crop conventionally on the same farm used to grow a certified product only if the crop grown conventionally is visually different from those crops grown organically.

B. A producer shall use plant propagules produced according to the organic standards as provided in this subtitle.

C. Seeds and Planting Stock.

(1) General Rule. To the extent feasible, a producer shall use organically produced seeds and planting stock, including:

(a) Bulbs;

(b) Plant material derived through tissue culture; and

(c) Tubers.

(2) Use of Untreated, Nonorganically Produced Materials. If the use of organically produced seeds and planting stock is not feasible, a producer may use the following untreated, nonorganically produced materials to produce an organic crop:

(a) Bulbs;

(b) Plant material derived through tissue culture;

(c) Tubers; and

(d) Seeds, except those used for sprouts.

(3) Use of Treated, Nonorganically Produced Materials.

(a) Except as provided in §C(3)(b) of this regulation, a producer may not use treated, nonorganically produced materials to produce an organic crop.

(b) For each of the following limited reasons, a producer may use treated, nonorganically produced bulbs, crowns, seeds, shoots, slips, tissue culture plants, and tubers to produce an organic crop:

(i) Treatments limited to fungicides;

(ii) Commercial unavailability of untreated seeds or other organically produced planting stock of the same variety, and documentation of the producer's efforts to source untreated seeds or planting stock;

(iii) Use of treated seeds, as required by phytosanitary regulations, necessary to prevent endemic diseases; or

(iv) An unanticipated or emergency circumstance that makes it infeasible to obtain untreated seeds or other planting stock.

(4) Annual Seedlings and Transplants. Unless organic seedlings or planting stock have been destroyed by a natural disaster or other unanticipated circumstance, a producer shall organically produce annual seedlings and transplants.

(5) Perennial Crops. For perennial crops, a producer may use nonorganically produced planting stock to produce a crop which may be sold, labeled, or represented as organically produced only if the planting stock has been maintained under a system of organic management on a certified organic farm for a period of not less than 1 year.

(6) Prohibited Sources of Planting Stock.

(a) Except in cases of emergency, if transplants are destroyed by frost, flood, or other natural disaster, a producer is prohibited from using annual transplants that have not been produced according to the standards set forth in this regulation.

(b) In cases of emergency, a producer shall notify the Department immediately regarding an emergency and submit the notification in writing within 7 days.

(c) The Department shall verify the emergency conditions and determine a maximum length of time during which the organic producer may use annual transplants that have not been produced according to these standards.

(d) A producer may not use genetically engineered seeds, seedlings, and planting stock.