(UPDATED COVERAGE, July 21) Organic fertilizer manufacturers have less than three months to have any liquid fertilizer with more than 3% nitrogen third-party reviewed.


The Oct. 1 deadline the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program set in February is quickly approaching.


During an investigation of Port Organic Ltd. and its Marizyme and Agrolizer fertilizers this winter and spring, Barbara Robinson, acting director of the National Organic Program, notified all organic certifiers that they would carry the responsibility of certifying manufacturers who produce high nitrogen liquid fertilizers. Without documentation of compliance with NOP standards, the agencies will deny approval for the use of those materials.


"What we're hearing is in order to get through the process by the Oct. 1 deadline, companies need to get reviewed now," said Barbara Haumann, spokeswoman for the Greenfield, Mass.-based Organic Trade Association.


The association released a statement July 17 encouraging all manufacturers of high nitrogen liquid fertilizers to submit their products to these third-party auditors immediately in order to meet the deadline.


"A lot of people may not realize," Haumann said. "They may have put this off."


The association was heavily involved in developing standard protocols for certifying these inputs. A task force the association formed in March, including growers, fertilizer manufacturers, certifiers and third-party reviewers, helped develop the protocols, according to a news release.


Haumann said last she heard, the task force was continuing work on recommendations for stricter regulations on these organic fertilizers.