- Farmers who have applied for certification in the previous year will automatically be sent an application, or please contact our office for an application.
- On the application, you will need to identify the Handler who will be storing and/or shipping your product. Your Handler must also be certified to Protected Harvest Chain-of-Custody standards.
- A Production Standards questionnaire must be completed for each field. The questionnaire is divided into nine sections: Scouting, Information Sources, Pest Management Decisions, Field Management Decisions, Weed Management, Insect Management, Disease Management, Soil and Water Quality, and Storage.
- Toxicity Scores must be calculated for each field according to the worksheet found after section nine on the Production Standards questionnaire.
- If, after self-scoring on the Production Standards questionnaire and calculating your Toxicity Score, you determine that a field will not qualify for certification, you may contact Protected Harvest before your scheduled audit to delete a field from your application and receive a partial refund.
- Assemble for the audit all scouting and monitoring reports, soil test results, pesticide and nutrient applications, weather data reports, sales receipts for seed stock, a drift management plan, harvest records, and other relevant information that the auditor may request.
- Inspections must occur prior to harvest or removal of crop from the field.
- The auditor meets with each grower on-site at a designated time.
- The auditor verifies answers to the Production Standards Questionnaire and reviews pertinent records.
- The auditor verifies each field’s Toxicity Score calculation.
- The applicant signs a Grower Affidavit, which states that all information provided to Protected Harvest and the auditor is known to be true.
- At the time of final harvest, the grower is responsible for submitting to the auditor all records for pesticide and nutrient applications that occurred after the auditor’s visit, and any other documents that the auditor may request during the audit. The sooner these records are received, the sooner we can determine your certification status.
Determination of Certification
- The auditor submits a file for each field to the Protected Harvest Certification Committee.
- The Committee reviews each file and determines whether certification is warranted.
- Upon approval, a Certificate of Compliance listing all Protected Harvest certified fields is mailed to the grower. Certification is valid for one year, and growers may use the Protected Harvest logo in their marketing materials.
Use of the Protected Harvest Seal
- Producers or manufacturers who are certified under the Protected Harvest program may affix the Protected Harvest seal to their products at the distribution or retail level.
- Language similar to the following should be used to explain the use of the seal: “This product was produced using a set of environmentally friendly practices that are approved and certified by Protected Harvest. See http://www.protectedharvest.org/ for further information.”