15.22.03.05

.05 Producer Requirements.

A. Application. A producer-applicant shall apply for either a Maryland organic certification pending or Maryland certified organic permit. A producer-applicant may apply for a Maryland certified organic permit on land which has not had a substance or practice prohibited under this subtitle applied to it during the immediately preceding 3 years and, except as provided under Regulation .05E of this chapter, has already passed through the transitional phase. In either case, the producer-applicant shall apply on a form provided by the Department for each farm that is to produce organic products. The producer shall submit this application to the Department at least 60 days in advance of the producer's preparation or tilling of the proposed farm unit. In 1991, the Department may waive this 60-day requirement.

B. Organic Farm Plan. In completing the application, a producer-applicant shall provide a detailed organic farm plan that contains all of the information required under Regulation .06 of this chapter.

C. Renewal. To renew the certification permit, the producer-applicant shall follow the procedures outlined in Regulation .10 of this chapter.

D. Transitional Phase. Except as provided for in Regulation .05E of this chapter, a producer-applicant shall first apply for a transitional Maryland organic certification pending permit for land on which the producer-applicant intends to grow organic products. If the Department has granted the producer-applicant a transitional Maryland organic certification pending permit with respect to certain land, the producer-applicant may continue using this land under the transitional status for a second and third year, provided the producer-applicant files a renewal application for each of these succeeding years and otherwise complies with the requirements of this subtitle. After 3 years, unless credit already has been obtained under §E of this regulation, the producer-applicant becomes eligible for, and shall obtain, a Maryland certified organic permit for this land or otherwise withdraw the land from the program for the next 2 years.

E. Credit. The producer-applicant may apply to have land on which organic products will be grown credited with up to 3 years of transitional status. A producer who requests this credit shall provide records, including test results and affidavits, showing that the requirements of this subtitle have been met. A producer given 3 or more years transitional credit shall be granted a Maryland certified organic permit.

F. A producer-applicant shall submit an application, organic farm plan, samples, and test results required by this subtitle for any new acreage to be entered into the certification program.

G. Reverting to Organic Certification Pending Status. If, after a producer-applicant has obtained a Maryland certified organic permit, the producer-applicant is unable to maintain an area of the farm as organic due to high pest levels or other reasons, and the producer-applicant notifies the Department within 5 days of discontinuing organic methods, the permit shall revert to organic certification pending without further penalty.

H. Record Keeping.

(1) A producer-applicant shall maintain for at least 5 years and make available to the Department, upon request, the following records for each farm unit:

(a) Unit-by-unit fertilization, cropping, and pest management histories, records of any other inputs such as source of seeds and seedlings, as well as harvest date;

(b) A detailed history of a substance, if any, applied to fields or products;

(c) The names and addresses of persons, if any, who applied the substance in §H(1)(b) of this regulation, and the date, rate, and method of application of this substance;

(d) A copy of the certification application;

(e) A copy of any inspection report; and

(f) Records indicating to whom a lot, bin, or any other identifiable quantity of an organic product was shipped.

(2) A producer of both organic and nonorganic products on the same farm shall keep separate records for each.