HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture PDA recently released a draft of an update to the Pennsylvania fertilizer law to PLNA for review. This update has not been introduced yet as legislation, but PDA is seeking input from a small group of stakeholders for initial feedback.
The draft legislation would do several things:
Require all businesses that apply fertilizer for hire to pay an annual fee, register and have at least one employee on staff who is certified by PDA to apply fertilizer.
Require any person who applies fertilizer for hire to be certified by PDA (much as pesticide applicators are certified by PDA) after passing a written exam and paying a certification fee.
Keep records regarding the application of fertilizer to a property, including the time, amounts and rates of application.
Allow certified applicators to train fertilizer applicator technicians who could apply fertilizers under indirect offsite supervision. Those not certified could apply fertilizer only under the direct on-site supervision of a certified applicator.
Allow for those currently holding pesticide applicator certification to be grandfathered into the fertilizer program as a certified applicator for the period that their current pesticide certification is in effect.
Application rates for fertilizers would be set by PDA in consultation with Penn State.
Preempt local governments from enacting ordinances that would regulate the application of fertilizers.
PLNA has met with PDA to review some of our preliminary concerns with the draft. You can review the draft of the legislation by clicking here. A new draft will be released in early January 2016. If you have comments on the draft legislation, please email or call Gregg Robertson, PLNA’s government relations consultant, at 717.238.2033.