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GroundKprs
09-13-2003, 12:12 AM
The sale of fertilizer is covered under legislation in my state, as well as many others. What are your state regs on fertilizer sales? Can you, as a business, legally in your state sell your clients cornmeal as a fertilizer?

In IN, any fertilizer seller must certify the nutrient content in what he is selling. I must state to the customer the gauranteed analysis (% by wt of N, P, K, and any other elements) of the product I deliver to him. Look at any fertilizer bag: there is a statement of gauranteed analysis.

Where can I get cornmeal labeled with the gauranteed analysis? Or do I have to pay a lab to determine that for me on each lot of cornmeal purchased?

woodycrest
09-13-2003, 07:07 AM
I would say the guaranteed analysis is 100%corn.

You can make muffins with it, it is animal feed, it is used in daycare centers for sensory play.

The label on the bags i get say 'ROLLED CORN'.

I dont see any reason for it to be labelled any other way.

Dave

GroundKprs
09-13-2003, 09:20 AM
Not asking for personal opinions, looking for legal, legitimate ways for a business to be organic. Probably half of the small operators in the green industry are black market economy - no insurance, no taxes, don't bother with laws. I don't care to go slumming in that area.

The Indiana fertilizer law defines fertilizer thus:
(1) Fertilizer material means any substance containing nitrogen, phosphate, potash, or any recognized plant nutrient that is used for its plant nutrient content and that is designed to have value in promoting plant growth. The term includes unmanipulated animal and vegetable manures.

Law goes on to state that nutrient content must be listed as % of weight of product. So I ask again: Where can I get cornmeal labeled with the gauranteed analysis? Or do I have to pay a lab to determine that for me on each lot of cornmeal purchased?

woodycrest
09-13-2003, 10:27 AM
100% corn. i highly doubt that you will find a bag of corn with any other label than that. Maybe corn is not a 'recognized plant nutrient'.

If you are that concerned about it then take some to a lab and pay them to determine the nutrient content. Corn is corn, one bag is the same as the other.

Here try this link...

http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/ECS/nutrient/tbb1.html

GroundKprs
09-13-2003, 11:22 AM
Thanks, Dave, that is good list. But please reread and understand quote above from the IN law, especially the underlined phrase. Perhaps Canada is more liberal in letting people apply "fertilizers."

I can do practically anything I want to the electric and plumbing systems in my home. My modifications may not stand up if code inspection is ever done, but I may think they're functional. But if I hire a plumber or electrician to do the modifications, and he is a legitimate, law abiding contractor, he is constrained by specific laws and regulations as to what he can offer to clients. He has to do the job in compliance with all laws and regulations affecting his trade. There is a world of difference between doing it for yourself and selling a service to others, and that includes fert and pest services, at least in this state.

And "Corn is corn, one bag is the same as the other." is a rather rash statement. There are dozens (100s?) of varieties of corn. Doubt they are all exactly the same makeup of elements.

So if I want to comply with the nutrient certification regulations of my state, I'm stuck with lab testing of each lot of cornmeal. Besides the "5 ton truck and forklift", I now need to let my product sit until the lab rates it (more business expense - inventory sitting and fees).

Does anyone else have comment from a business perspective? Or perhaps this forum does not belong in the "Commercial" section of LawnSite?

Enjoy Life Ronnie
10-04-2003, 08:25 PM
Any recognized plant nutrient that is used for its plant nutrient content and that is <B>designed</B> to have value in promoting plant growth.

Corn meal was never designed or intended for anything except as a food product. However if you are using corn as a fertilizer I can see how you are breaking the letter of the law in your state unless you have it tested.

I would hope your state would not require retesting every time you put down corn meal. That would be harressment... in my openion.

But you just never know. It's kind of funny (and sad) the depths our goverment will go to to help a growing business to fail these days.

trying 2b organic
10-04-2003, 08:34 PM
Ya, classic eg. here in canada i couldnt sell apps of c.g.m. as organic weed and feed cause no-one had paid for the studies the govt. wanted to prove that it is a pre-emerg. now its registered and I still cant sell it as weed and feed cause to sell it as a pesticide, even though harmless I need to get a pesticide applicators licience and insurance, a cost savings I had heretofor enjoyed as a no pesticide company

Why do you want to try to use corn meal, there is no way for a pro to apply it and it will attract birds and it looks like corn so people will be afraid to be the first one on the block to use it. For now I am paying the extra bucks for Turfmaize. Corn Gluten Meal the organic weed and feed. Mind u I am also the guy trying to figure out how I can save money by applying pellet alfalfa purchased by me as rabbit food instead of organic lawn fert. :)

Enjoy Life Ronnie
10-04-2003, 08:39 PM
Oh and by the way... used corn meal on my small lawn for the first time 4 weeks ago and I am pleased with the results. The back yard looks wonderful.

Just hoping it works as well on BP as ya'll say. I haven't tryed it yet.

Thanks ~RR

GroundKprs
10-04-2003, 10:01 PM
CGM as a pre-em has been exempted in the USA from EPA pesticide registration. But you need to check with your own state on their regs for CGM use.

Laws on fert and pest application were made to protect society from unscrupulous sales. Like most laws, they came into being because someone was ripping people off or causing harm to make a buck.

Dchall_San_Antonio
10-05-2003, 10:38 PM
Originally posted by GroundKprs
Laws on fert and pest application were made to protect society from unscrupulous sales. Like most laws, they came into being because someone was ripping people off or causing harm to make a buck. ...and there is every reason to believe it will continue with unscrupulous organic providers. Corn meal could be adulterated with corn cobs and sold as whole ground corn unless some standards are applied. One Very well respected local organic supplier is selling a product that lists one ingredient as "compost tea." I went out to check on some other things with him and he volunteered to show me his compost tea maker. At best his product fits the definition of a compost leachate but would never be called a tea by today's definition. But until someone forces him to change the label, his bottles for the foreseeable future are already printed.

I believe corn meal, as well as the rest of the ground grains grown around the world and used in North America, should be both tested and exempted, as appropriate. There is a chemical fertilizer/pesticide mafia (and I mean this in a professional, friendly, competitive way) that has a lot more money than any organic mafia (same comment). I believe if new laws come about governing (or exempting) the use of organic materials, they will come about either from the universities or from the citizens and be fought hard by the fertilizer mafia. The exemption for CGM may have been a fluke and be the last exemption ever granted.

I checked around on various websites for the different states' laws regarding what is a fertilizer and from what I found, Indiana seemed to be alone in including corn meal type products as controlled materials. I'm sure there are others because I could not find any but a few of the state's statutes. But of those, none controlled corn meal.

Regarding the NPK listed on labels of fertilizers, I believe the test results would show that for different batches of fertilizer, the NPK would assay to be different with each one. The numbers printed on the bag are undoubtedly government approved averages, just as the numbers printed on any organic fertilizer would be averaged. So once the averages for any pure products were established by testing, the label would carry those numbers regardless of the exact NPK in the bag. Sample tests, maybe 4 batches per year per supplier, would reconfirm the numbers and adjust as changes were needed. I could be dead wrong on this, but once I come to power, that's the way I'll do it. :D

GroundKprs
10-06-2003, 12:08 AM
Ahh, Dave, where is your engineering gone to? Once something is distilled to numbers, there is no leeway for arguement. If Scott's says their bag of fert is 18-4-4, they better be able to stand behind those numbers. A friend in the biz years ago took delivery of a liquid fert one year. He was not happy with results, so he sent a sample to be tested in a private lab. When the test showed that NPK were not as labeled, the seller gladly refunded the full price and costs to my friend, rather than deal with state enforcement.

At least in IN, the stated NPK numbers (and others, if so labeled) are considered MINIMUMS, and must be listed as whole numbers (some trace elements can be fractional). You can be a little over, but you better not be under. And there's no reason any organic should be exempted - as you note, you'd just open doors wide to the unscrupulous operators.

woodycrest
10-10-2003, 10:58 PM
GroundKprs,

Heres some info i found concerning organic farming in your neck of the woods.

Note the number one requirement for organic certification.

after some searching,I think fertilizing with corn is as yet unclassified ...THere is an awful lot of blah blah blah to cut thru when reading this stuff, but after reading the CAnadian Fertilzer act, and the Indiana Fertilizer law, if i am reading all this stuff right i repeat, I think fertilizing with corn is as yet unclassified.

It would seem that the organic concept of improving the soil would apply to lawn care as well, but there is no specific mention of this is any this stuff i read.

Any thoughts on this?????



Sec. 2. The following management practices are required to receive organic certification:
(1) Development and implementation of a conscientious soil building program designed to enhance organic matter and encourage optimum soil health.

http://www.in.gov/oca/other/organic_rule.html

375 IAC 1-3-2 Management practices
Authority: IC 15-4-12-16
Affected: IC 15-4-12

Sec. 2. The following management practices are required to receive organic certification:
(1) Development and implementation of a conscientious soil building program designed to enhance organic matter and encourage optimum soil health.
(2) Rotation of nonperennial crops in accordance with accepted regional organic practices. Rotations must be as varied as possible and aim to:
(A) maintain or improve soil fertility;
(B) reduce nitrate leaching; and
(C) reduce weed, pest, and disease problems.
(3) Use of careful management, resistant varieties, intercropping, and maintenance of soil health as the first line of primary defense against weeds, pests, and diseases.


Sec. 4. (a) The following methods and materials are approved for disease prevention and treatment and weed control on certified organic farms:
(1) Use of resistant varieties and the provision of conditions favoring natural equilibrium.
(2) Insecticidal soaps and botanical insecticides, such as:
(A) ryania;
(B) sabadilla; and
(C) teas, extracts, decoctions, or poultices of locally grown botanicals only if they contain no sythetic [sic., synthetic] inerts unless placed on the National List.
(3) Rotenone, pyrethrum, dormant oil (preferably vegetable-based), and diatomaceous earth may be used with great caution due to their high ecological profile.
(4) Sexual, visual, and physical traps.
(5) Microbial insecticides as found in the National List are acceptable.
(6) Mechanical, electrical, and thermal weeding.
(7) Microbial weed killers.
(8) Corn gluten meal (must not be from genetically engineered corn).
(9) Plastic mulch. (See section 5(c) of this rule.)

woodycrest
10-10-2003, 11:02 PM
Heres the Canadian Fertilizer Act link...


http://laws.justice.gc.ca./en/F-10/index.html

GroundKprs
10-11-2003, 01:38 AM
Woody, in the USA, organic farming and organic lawn care are two very different worlds. I'm afraid you are way off in trying to draw lawn care conclusions from farming regs.

Most states have adopted organic farming guidelines, so the "organic" FOOD people buy to eat can have some degree of definition. Organic food is big business in some areas, and the reason for the organic farming regs is to set a standard for "organic" foods.

IN lawn care is regulated by the Office of the INdiana State Chemist, both the fertilization and pesticide aspects. They do not have separate definitions yet for "organic" lawn care. So here one must follow the general lawn care regulations.

Reading and trying to interpret, or find loopholes, in laws is not a very good way to set a business plan. Why don't you just ask your own regulatory agency what you need to do there to be legal? I'll probably see some of our guys at winter meetings, and I will ask them where organic lawn care stands today in IN.

Remember that Dave first stated when this forum started that there is no standard definition of organic lawn care. "organic" means different things to different people.

woodycrest
10-11-2003, 07:00 AM
I havent drawn any conclusions, i am just try to get some clarity as to what the regulations are. All i am saying is that there is no specific reference to 'organic lawn care'. Organic farming is obviuosly not organic lawn care, they are two different things, but they are related.

i would be pretty stupid and short sighted to develop a business plan thru interpretation and loopholes of laws. That is not my intention. Rather than risking legal backlash from fertilizing organically i am asking these questions on this forum to get some feedback.

Of course 'Organic' means different things to different people that is part of the problem. THe first items listed in the 'acts' and 'laws' are definitions. I found no real definition of organic in the stuff i have been reading. So dont you think an official definition of organic would be helpful??

Although 'corn meal' is not specified in the CAnadian fertilizer act, it does list some items that are used to IMPROVE THE SOIL and these are exempt from registration. Improving the soil is the reason for using corn meal.

dvmcmrhp52
10-11-2003, 05:41 PM
Organic means different things to different people because there is a lack of understanding of what nature does on its own without human intervention.JMO.

woodycrest
10-12-2003, 08:50 AM
dvmcmrhp52,

You got that right!!!!

organicferts
05-24-2011, 04:01 PM
Although "organics" may mean different things to different people, there is but one definition and it is regulated by OMRI. OMRi is the governing body nationally and only OMRI certified products can be registered as such.
Indiana is very clear in their "fertilizer material" laws, if it has an npk declared or not it is considered fertilizer material. So all soil amendments, registered ferts and "organics" fall under this umbrella. The test and certification is only $45 and pretty simple. Doing so would be your best bet to remain legal and learn some quality info along the way.

ICT Bill
05-24-2011, 09:19 PM
Although "organics" may mean different things to different people, there is but one definition and it is regulated by OMRI. OMRi is the governing body nationally and only OMRI certified products can be registered as such.
Indiana is very clear in their "fertilizer material" laws, if it has an npk declared or not it is considered fertilizer material. So all soil amendments, registered ferts and "organics" fall under this umbrella. The test and certification is only $45 and pretty simple. Doing so would be your best bet to remain legal and learn some quality info along the way.

that post is 8 years old, a lot has happened between now and then

Smallaxe
05-25-2011, 07:47 AM
Truth in Advertising, is the basis of everything discussed here... Any state attorney can go after anyone selling false claims about fertilizers or carrots... Indiana is no more special than any other state...

I use molasses/sugars and call it ammendments on the invoice... No false claims, no slumming, no rippoff, just honest dealings with the client...

organicferts
05-25-2011, 10:55 AM
And in indiana you can do that, molassis and sugar are merely bio stimulants for the microbial activity in your soil, they provide no real nutritional value for turf and are not deemed "fertilizer material".

ICT Bill
05-25-2011, 08:55 PM
And in indiana you can do that, molassis and sugar are merely bio stimulants for the microbial activity in your soil, they provide no real nutritional value for turf and are not deemed "fertilizer material".

and exactly why he called it an "amendment" or soil amendment, fertilizer by definition in most states must have some NPK or micronutrients to make the "fertilizer" claim

organicferts
05-26-2011, 06:25 AM
Indiana passed a law in December 2010 stating that ANY product, call it what you like, containing nutrients is "fertilizer material". So regardless of what you call it, if it contains any Macro or micro nutrients it is considered a fertilizer material and you must be certified to apply it. There is no loop hole in this law by use of clever verbage.

phasthound
05-26-2011, 07:40 AM
Indiana passed a law in December 2010 stating that ANY product, call it what you like, containing nutrients is "fertilizer material". So regardless of what you call it, if it contains any Macro or micro nutrients it is considered a fertilizer material and you must be certified to apply it. There is no loop hole in this law by use of clever verbage.

That's good information to know. Where can I locate a copy of the regulations? Thanks.

Smallaxe
05-26-2011, 08:03 AM
The dry molasses contain the cane particles and beet ruffage, therefore what ever nutrients contained in the bodies of the pulverized plants, would be fertilizer. Need a liscense to spread compost in Indiana... Sounds like a strong TGCL lobby down there... :)