The North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) has introduced new rules concerning the content of agricultural fertilizers. Agriculture Commissioner, Doug Goehring, said that the department had developed new measures to help ensure the accuracy of fertilizer labelling. The rules were developed in the cooperation with the fertilizer industry and farm groups. Mr Goehring added that the first of the new batch of rules defined how much the chemical composition of a fertilizer can vary from label claims. The second batch establishes minimal concentrations for micronutrient claims on fertilizer product labeling. These rules are supposed to protect fertilizer customers by assuring that the fertilizers they buy contain the nutrients they should.
Both new measures draw on national standards developed by Association of American Plant Food Control Officials (AAPFCO). NDDA organized a public hearing on the new rules in February this year. The ruled were approved by the State Legislature’s Administrative Rules Committee in mid-September and subsequently took effect on October 1. NDDA regulates the distribution and sale of fertilizers to protect consumers and ensure access to high quality fertilizer products. Under the NDDA regulation, all fertilizer materials, foliar fertilizers, micronutrients, specialty fertilizers, soil amendments and plant amendments must be registered prior to being distributed or offered for sale. Any person who sells these materials to the end user (such as a farmer or landowner) must also have a commercial fertilizer distributor’s license. Businesses selling only non-agricultural, specialty fertilizers are exempt from the license requirement.