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No Special Fert. Req. in NYS

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Elite LawnCare, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. Elite LawnCare

    Elite LawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    I just called New York State DEC and confirmed that I do not need any special license or permit to apply any type of fert. I asked about compost tea and they were like whats that? They said anything that controls something like a pesticide or herbicide needs a Pesticide Permit including anything that may be organic. I really want to experiment spray some tea this year so I figured I would call and make sure i was legit.
  2. tadhussey

    tadhussey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 294

    I'm in WA state, but I could have sworn you guys had certain restrictions. I've had to provide documentation of ingredients for certain people spraying our teas in the NY area. Let us know when you're ready to start brewing, as they're quite a few people that already are using compost tea in this group!

  3. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    If it is strictly being used as a fertilizer, you are fine. but... if you use corn gluten meal as a spring crabgrass control, it is a pesticide, requiring a certification to apply legally. CGM is not an EPA restricted material, although I think it should be when used in the quatities needed when used as a pre-emergent like that. Call me unconvinced that at 20 pounds per 1k in one application that it doesn't leach into the water table.

    As for the compost tea, you should be fine.... it isn't a control substance.
  4. Elite LawnCare

    Elite LawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    According to the guy I talked to from NYS DEC there is no restrictions that he knows of. Hopefully he is right! he was like compost what.....so I spelled it for him and he was like ohhh what is it? I wonder if I will get looked at having a sprayer on the mower? I would assume that people have been stopped at job sites before to make sure they have the correct permits. Have you been stopped?
  5. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Standards vary widely state to state. In most states Compost Tea is considered a soil amendment. Some states will not allow you to claim that it is compost tea as the state will not recognize biological inoculums in any way shape or form.
    This has become a big issue for me as they will not allow licencing to sell a product in the state.

    In Florida if you are a commercial company and spray a residential property, even if its water, you have to have an applicators license.

    But if your company is CLAIMING that the compost tea has pesticide or herbicide capabilities you will have to have a pesticide license.

    It is important to contact the local goverment and find out though.
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Use it as a fertilizer, and whatever benefits you gain beyond that use are purely coincidental. ;)
  7. tamadrummer

    tamadrummer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,102

    Whatever you do, DO NOT take someones word for the gospel truth.

    You need to look up the state regs on this. Go to the local agriculture extension and order your applicators books, regardless of the requirements, these books will show you how to keep track of what you are applying and show you all of the regulations that the person you spoke to either doesn't know or did not think to tell you.

    It is insane to think that you can go into someones yard and put down chemicals, organic or otherwise without being as educated on the laws as possible. The Dept. of Ag. inspector that decides to stop by your jobsite and ask you some questions about what you are doing, isn't going to care what billy-bob the phone answer person told you. You are 100% liable for what you apply and you need to know everything about it!

    Good Luck,
  8. Elite LawnCare

    Elite LawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    I talked to three different DEC office's and they said as long as its not any type of control substance than no. They are sending me the information on the pesticide permit. I explained the process to them on the phone and he says sounds like a fertilizer to me. I am gonna talk to the DEC officer down the road from me too. I looked all over the NYS DEC web site and only found information about the pesticide permit and said nothing about any types of fertilizer. I think I will be safe according to 3 different DEC office's. Oh and by the way I don't plan on just going out and putting this on anyones yard. I am going to experiment like I said. I will play with my own yard along with my parents and grandparents yards.
  9. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    You make a good point about a person and companies responsibility.

    In fact without a complete understanding of the local laws you leave you and your company open to heavy fines and loss of business license in chronic instances.

    I have spoken with many State fertilizer regulators and their interpretion of the law is, if you state or say that it is a fertilizer then you must prove NPK. In most states the NPK must meet a minimum standard, in Oregon (for instance), NPK must be at least 5% of the total so if you claim that a compost tea is a fertlizer you must prove an NPK of 2-1-2 or 3-0-2, for example, or at least 5%. If you are making a statement of plant growth promotion then they consider it a fertilizer, period.

    The ASFFPCO group www.asffpco.org which is the group of all 50 states fert/pesticide regulators has tried to address the issue of compost teas and their regulation, if any. Although it has been mentioned in several meeting there has been no effort formally to address the standards of compost teas and their regulation. I have a feeling at their next meeting it will be close to the top of their list. They meet formally once a year.

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