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State Fertilizer Bill Currently In The Works

The New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association (NJLCA) is working closely with the New Jersey Green Industry Council (NJGIC) to protect industry interests regarding a state fertilizer bill currently in the works. According to an alert published by NJLCA, highlights of the bill include:

  • The bill authorizes state standards for fertilizer applications to turf grass and establishes certification of fertilization best management practices.
  • The bill includes science based technical references for fertilization management practices.
  • The bill supersedes all county and local acts and seeks to establish one state law for consistency.
  • The bill does not include landscaped areas, it is strictly for turf grass areas.
  • The bill requires professional applicators to be certified.
  • The bill imposes a $100 / violation penalty.

The bill specifies prohibited conduct by professionals, such as:

  • Prohibits application of phosphorus above 0.3 lbs in a single application unless need demonstrated by soil test;
  • Prohibits application of fertilizer to impervious surfaces;
  • Prohibits application of fertilizer with 10' buffer of water or 3' if using spreader with deflector;
  • Prohibits application on frozen ground or between dates of 12/15 - 2/20.

The bill exempts:

  • Commercial farms - under farm act;
  • Golf course superintendents if have proof of certification from GCSAA.

The bill allows exemptions for:

  • Establishing turf grass - new lawns;
  • Fertilizer applications per soil test recommendations.

Certification required by the bill is to be a cooperative effort of NJDEP and Rutgers Cooperative Ext. It allows companies that have internal training programs to be accepted if approved by NJDEP/Rutgers.

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June 16, 2019, 10:39 pm PDT

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