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Home  > Question of the Week

Question of the Week



Permalink What soap is safe to use on organic food crops for insect control?

Answer: Organic farming requires any pest-management materials used be in compliance with USDA's National Organic Program regulations and must be used in the context of organic principles for farming and handling practices.

The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) provides an independent review of products intended for use in certified organic production. After review, if substances are determined safe for organic use they are OMRI Listed. https://www.omri.org/.

Safer Soap is OMRI Listed and can be found at most farm supply stores. It can be mixed into solution with chili peppers and sprayed on plants to safely control insects on food crops.

The ATTRA website offers a pest management database that lists different materials by brand name, distributor and whether it is OMRI Listed. You can find the database at https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/biorationals/.

For more information on organic pest management, see the ATTRA publication Integrated Pest Management for Greenhouse Crops at https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=48. This publication covers IPM for greenhouse crops, both vegetable and ornamental. Monitoring, sanitation, biological controls, biorational pesticides, insect growth regulators, and disease control methods are discussed. Tables include information on the newest biorational pesticides and biological control organisms.

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