Biodegradable mulches are allowed for use by organic farms, if they have met the following requirements of the organic standards:
205.601 - Biodegradable biobased mulch film as defined in §205.2. Must be produced without organisms or feedstock derived from excluded methods.
205.2 - Biodegradable biobased mulch film. A synthetic mulch film that meets the following criteria:
1. Meets the compostability specifications of one of the following standards: ASTM D6400, ASTM D6868, EN 13432, EN 14995, or ISO 17088 (all incorporated by reference; see §205.3);
2. Demonstrates at least 90% biodegradation absolute or relative to microcrystalline cellulose in less than two years, in soil, according to one of the following test methods: ISO 17556 or ASTM D5988 (both incorporated by reference; see §205.3); and
3. Must be biobased with content determined using ASTM D6866 (incorporated by reference; see §205.3).
At this time, none of the commercially available biodegradable mulches have been proven to meet the requirements . No biodegradable mulch is allowed for use unless it is removed from the field at the end of the growing season.
It is possible that a biodegradable mulch could be approved for use in the future. If you are told a biodegradable mulch is approved, please notify Baystate before you use the mulch so we can verify that the mulch is compliant with the organic standards.