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PLNA e-News: Protecting Values In Pennsylvania

PLNA Proposes New Approach to Fertilizer Bill

Wednesday, July 25, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
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HARRISBURG – In June, PLNA testified about its concerns with a bill to regulate the application of fertilizer (SB 792) to the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.

Major Concern

One of PLNA’s major concerns was that it created a completely new registration and regulatory program dealing with just fertilizer. PLNA estimated that this new regulatory program would cost the lawn care industry $5 million per year.

PLNA noted in its testimony that the new fertilizer program would duplicate much of what is already contained in the Category 07 Lawn and Turf Grass pesticide certification program. Virtually all lawncare professionals applying fertilizer legally are already certified under Category 07 of the Pesticide Act because fertilizer is frequently applied along with pesticides, whether it be crabgrass preventer, grub control or broad leaf herbicides.

New Requirements Fit on One page

The new requirements for fertilizer application in SB 792 fit on one page, single spaced. (You may download a copy here). Most of these requirements are best management practices that lawn care professionals should be observing already.

PLNA Proposes Combining New Requirements with Category 07

PLNA has proposed inserting these requirements into the Category 07 study materials and adding some questions to the Category 07 exam. This would eliminate the need for an entirely new separate registration and testing program and the industry costs associated with it.

So far, PLNA has discussed this idea with the House Agriculture Committee staff, Department of Agriculture staff and Chesapeake Bay Commission staff. The preliminary reaction has been encouraging.

Fertilizer Bill May Not Move Until 2019

We are still in the preliminary stages of these discussions and SB 792 would have to be amended to incorporate this new approach. This could push action on the bill off until next the next legislative session in 2019. We think that saving the lawn care industry $5 million would be worth the delay.

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