Allowed Inputs & Materials

Knowing whether or not an input is allowed for use on your organic operation is imperative to your organic plan. Whether the material is to be used in processing, crop, livestock or maple production there may be specific rules and restrictions to follow. As a service to our clients, Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF) has a staff member dedicated to the material review process. The VOF Material Review Specialist keeps crop and livestock input lists up to date and is available for reviewing individual input products for organic compliance. You can contact our current Material Specialist at with further questions or review requests.


What is an “input”?

An input is any material that you use in your crop, livestock, maple, or processing operation. All inputs must be reviewed prior to use and determined to be allowed for use in organic production. 

The term “input” is used to broadly describe purchased materials such as crop fertilizers (including compost and manure), pest control products, feed additives, livestock healthcare products, maple defoamers, processing aids, and more. 

For the purpose of your organic certification, “inputs” do not typically include seeds, purchased animal feeds, livestock bedding, or physical items (such as equipment) used in the production process. Each input material used on your organic operation must be reviewed as allowed for use in organic production and declared on your organic system plan. 


How to determine if an input is allowed?

Not sure if an input you want to use is approved for use in organic production? Check these resources for the product name: 

The National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances identifies the synthetic substances that may be used and the nonsynthetic (natural) substances that may not be used in organic crop and livestock production. It also identifies a limited number of non-organic substances that may be used in or on processed organic products

OMRI supports organic integrity by developing clear information and guidance about materials, so that producers know which products are appropriate for organic operations.

WSDA Organic Food Program maintains a list of products that have been reviewed and determined to be compliant under USDA organic regulations. VOF accepts all materials deemed compliant by WSDA.

The Organic Input Material (OIM) Program registers fertilizing materials to be used in organic crop and food production. VOF accepts all materials deemed compliant by CDFA.


If the input is not on any of the above lists, please contact the VOF office for our active materials review lists:

  • VOF Brand Name Product List for Organic Crop Production (this is an active list, contact the office for the most up to date information)
  • VOF Organic Livestock Accepted Health Products, Ingredients & Practices (this is an active list, contact the office for the most up to date information. Livestock producers will receive a copy in the mail annually.)
  • VOF Approved Compost Suppliers (pdf) » (please note that compost and potting soil products, if not listed on OMRI, CDFA, or WSDA must be reviewed and approved by VOF)


Still can’t find the product you want to use?

Contact your VOF Certification Specialist or the VOF Materials Review Specialist and we can review the product and determine whether or not it is allowed for use. Please be sure to contact the office BEFORE using a new product.