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Fertilizer laws

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by GroundKprs, Sep 13, 2003.

  1. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    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.
  2. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435


    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.


    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.)
  3. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435

  4. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    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.
  5. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    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.
  6. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    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.
  7. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435


    You got that right!!!!
  8. organicferts

    organicferts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    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.
  9. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

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

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    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...

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