Agriculture and Forestry

Commercial Fertilizer


§ 2-7-3. Definitions.

When used in this chapter:

(1) "Brand" means a term, design, or trademark used in connection with one or several grades of commercial fertilizer.

(2) "Bulk fertilizer" means a commercial fertilizer distributed in non-package form.

(3) "Commercial fertilizer" means any substance containing one or more recognized plant nutrient(s) that is used for its plant nutrient content and that is designed for use or claimed to have value in promoting plant growth, except unmanipulated animal and vegetable manures, marl, lime, limestone, wood ashes and gypsum, and other products exempted by regulation of the director.

(4) "Director" means director of the department of environmental management or his or her authorized agent.

(5) "Distributor" means any person who imports, consigns, manufactures, produces, compounds, mixes, or blends commercial fertilizer, or who offers for sale, sells, barters, or otherwise supplies commercial fertilizer in this state.

(6) "Fertilizer material" means a commercial fertilizer that either:

(i) Contains important quantities of no more than one of the primary plant nutrients (nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash); or

(ii) Has approximately eighty-five percent (85%) of its plant nutrient content present in the forms of a single chemical compound; or

(iii) Is derived from a plant or animal residue or by-product or a natural, material deposit that has been processed in a way that its content or primary plant nutrients has not been materially changed except by purification and concentration.

(7) "Grade" means the percentage of total nitrogen, available phosphorus or phosphoric acid, and soluble potassium or soluble potash stated in whole numbers in the same terms, order, and percentages as in the guaranteed analysis. Specialty fertilizers may be guaranteed in fractional units of less than one percent (1%) of total nitrogen, available phosphorus or phosphoric acid, and soluble potassium or soluble potash; provided, that fertilizer materials, bone meal, manures, and similar raw materials may be guaranteed in fractional units.

(8) "Guaranteed analysis" means:

(i) Until the director prescribes the alternative form of guaranteed analysis in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (7)(ii) of this section, the term "guaranteed analysis" shall mean the minimum percentage of plant nutrients claimed in the following order and form:

(A) Total Nitrogen (N) . . . . . . . . . . percent

Available Phosphoric Acid (P2O5) . . . . . . . . . . percent

Soluble Potash (K2O) . . . . . . . . . . percent

(B) For unacidulated mineral phosphatic materials and basic slag, bone, tankage, and other organic phosphate materials, the total phosphoric acid and/or degree or fineness may also be guaranteed.

(C) Guarantees for plant nutrients, other than nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, may be permitted or required by regulation of the director. The guarantees for these other nutrients shall be expressed in the form of the element. The sources of these other nutrients (oxides, salt, chelates, etc.) may be required to be stated on the application for registration and may be included as a parenthetical statement on the label. Other beneficial substances or compounds, determinable by laboratory methods, also may be guaranteed by permission of the director, and with the advice of the dean of the College of the Environment and Life Sciences at the University of Rhode Island. When any plant nutrients or other substances or compounds are guaranteed, they shall be subject to inspection and analysis in accord with the methods and regulations prescribed by the director.

(D) Potential basicity or acidity expressed in terms of calcium carbonate equivalent in multiples of one hundred (100) pounds per ton, when required by regulation.

(ii) When the director finds, after a public hearing following due notice, that the requirement for expressing the guaranteed analysis of phosphorus and potassium in elemental form would not impose an economic hardship on distributors and users of fertilizer by reason of conflicting labeling requirements among the states, the director may require, by regulation, that the "guaranteed analysis" shall be in the following form:

Total Nitrogen (N) . . . . . . . . . . percent

Available Phosphorus (P) . . . . . . . . . . percent

Soluble Potassium (K) . . . . . . . . . . percent

Provided, however, that the effective date of the regulation shall be not less than six (6) months following the issuance of this regulation and provided further, that for a period of two (2) years following the effective date of the regulation, the equivalent of phosphorus and potassium may also be shown in the form of phosphoric acid and potash; provided, however, that after the effective date of a regulation issued under the provisions of this section, requiring that phosphorus and potassium shall constitute the grade.

(9) "Investigational allowance" means an allowance for variations inherent in the taking, preparation and analysis of an official sample of commercial fertilizer.

(10) "Label" means the display of all written, printed, or graphic matter upon the immediate container or statement accompanying a commercial fertilizer.

(11) "Labeling" means all written, printed, or graphic matter, upon or accompanying any commercial fertilizer, or advertisements, brochures, posters, television, and radio announcements used in promoting the sale of commercial fertilizers.

(12) "Mixed fertilizer" means a commercial fertilizer containing any combination or mixture of fertilizer materials.

(13) "Official sample" means any sample of commercial fertilizer taken by the director or his or her agent and designated as "official" by the director.

(14) "Percent" or "percentage" means the percentage by weight.

(15) "Person" includes individual, partnership, association, firm, and corporation.

(16) "Registrant" means the person who registers commercial fertilizer under the provisions of this chapter.

(17) "Specialty fertilizer" means a commercial fertilizer distributed primarily for non-farm use, such as home gardens, lawns, shrubbery, flowers, golf courses, municipal parks, cemeteries, greenhouses, and nurseries.

(18) "Ton" means a net weight of two thousand (2,000) pounds avoirdupois.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1977, ch. 168, § 2; P.L. 2016, ch. 512, art. 2, § 38.)