State Regulators: New Fertilizer Rules
The Office of Indiana State Chemist is in a yearlong effort to inform farmers and fertilizer dealers and applicators of new rules regulating how manure and other fertilizers can be staged on farms and applied to fields.
The rules, designed to keep fertilizers out of waterways and wells, were drafted by the Purdue-based OISC and approved by Governor Mitch Daniels in February. They take effect February 16, 2013, giving farmers, dealers and applicators one year to comply with them. The state Legislature assigned the OISC the task of crafting the rules.
The office has posted the rules and a related document of frequently asked questions on its website (http://www.isco.purdue.edu). It also will inform licensed fertilizer dealers as well as private and commercial applicators of the rules by mail.
It is possible that some fertilizer dealers and applicators in rare instances still might not know about the new rules by the time they take effect, said Matt Pearson, administrator of the office’s fertilizer section. He said the office would take that into consideration on a case basis should a problem arise.
“We’ll have to because no matter what we do to get the word out about the rules, some people might still not know about them,” he said. “We want to be understanding and work with them as they apply these new rules to their operations.”
Workshops throughout the state under the Pesticide Recertification Application Program will involve educating applicators about the new rules.
“This will be the regulatory topic of the year,” he said.
In addition, the OISC intends to keep environmental groups informed of how the rules are being implemented.
The requirements specify how fertilizer can be safely stored on farms until its use – called staging – and how far from waterways and wells it can be applied and under what conditions, such as weather. They complement Indiana Department of Environmental Management regulations, Pearson said.
The rules were developed by a committee composed of representatives of the OISC, the livestock industry, farmers, members of the Fertilizer Advisory Board, Purdue University faculty and IDEM.
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