Top 10 Reasons to Use Archipelago Bat Guano 

3.   100% natural and organic and allowed for use in organic farming – but no harmful bacteria 

            The organic Trade Association reports that ninety-six percent of America’s home gardeners would like to garden with products that are approved by the USDA for use in certified organic farming.  However, 97% of America’s experienced home gardeners do not know how to identify such fertilizers.  This confusion exists because the agency that regulates organic farming is not the same as the agency that regulates fertilizer labeling.  For labeling purposes, a fertilizer may be called “organic” if it contains carbon and one or more elements other than hydrogen and oxygen essential for plant growth.  “Organic”, however, does not mean “allowed in organic farming.”  Because of this, some states, such as Washington, even allow fertilizer to be labeled as “synthetic organic.”   It is all very confusing.  Thus, many consumers may be unwittingly using unwanted fertilizers.   

            However, ABG phosphate truly is 100% natural, organic and allowed for use in organic farming.  ABG phosphate is listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI®) for use in production of organic food and fiber.  ABG phosphate is fossilized bat guano that has been buried in collapsed caves for thousands of years.  Fossilization resulted in depletion of the nitrogen and potentially harmful bacteria that are typically associated with fresh guano.  Because of these unique characteristics, ABG phosphate is technically not considered to be guano or manure for regulatory purposes.  Instead, OMRI® lists ABG phosphate as a “mined material, unprocessed” and its status is “allowed.”  Generally, fruits and vegetables fertilized by materials that have an “allowed” status, such as ABG phosphate, can be harvested any time after fertilization without fear of bacterial contamination.  Conversely, fresh guano and manure, because of its potentially harmful bacteria content, generally requires a 90 or 120 day waiting period between fertilization and harvesting of fruits or vegetables.   

            Nevertheless, please make it a habit to wash all of your fruits and vegetables.  It is just safe practice. 

Supporting documents and further information can be found at the following web sites: 

1. Organic Trade Association Poll of Home Gardeners Summary Report, Organic Trade Association, 2006. (97% of home gardeners want fertilizer that is approved for organic farming but only 3% can identify it.)

2. Organic Farming Compliance Handbook, U.C. Davis. (“Organic fertilizer” is not necessarily allowed for organic farming.  Additionally, all manures are “restricted,” meaning that if the edible part of the plant touches the ground, the crop cannot be harvested for 120 days after application of the manure.  If the crop does not touch the ground, 90 days must pass between application and harvesting.) 

3. “Organic” Fertilizer may be Organic, or it Might be a Residual Surprise, J. Riddle, 2005, (Cites examples of organic farms losing organic certification because farmers mistakenly believed that fertilizer labeled as “organic” was allowed.)

4. Organic Resource Manual, Washington State Department of Agriculture, 1996. (at p.8: OMRI is the central clearinghouse for determining what products and brand names are acceptable in organic farming) 

5.  Fertilizer Registration Guidance Document, Washington State Dept. of Agriculture, 2006 (For fertilizer labeling purposes, ““Organic means a material containing carbon and one or more elements (other than hydrogen and oxygen) essential for plant growth”.  “Organic” does not mean pure or natural.”  Thus, a fertilizer could be labeled as either “natural organic” or “synthetic organic” in Washington.  The Washington guide further provides that although rock phosphate and various other mineral materials may be natural products, they cannot be called “organic”, because they do not contain carbon (when these rules, based on nationally-followed guidelines, are combined with organic farming rules, the result is that some natural fertilizer products that cannot be called organic are allowed for use in organic farming while some fertilizer materials that are legally called organic are not allowed for use in organic farming).)



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