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Nutrient Best Management Practices

Click here to view specific information for plant nutrient regulations that apply statewide, on Cape Cod, and the islands.

UMass Extension Nutrient Best Management Practices

Through thoughtful nutrient management planning and the implementation of appropriate best management practices (BMPs), agricultural producers, land and property managers and others can manage farming operations and the properties under their care profitably and with protection of natural resources, particularly water, as a priority. The following are UMass Amherst Extension resources intended to provide practitioners and others involved in the management of soil fertility and plant nutrients with sound, up-to-date technical information.

Nutrient Best Management Practices for:

Other resources: UMass Soil and Plant Tissue Testing Lab

Plant Nutrient Regulations in Massachusetts

Agricultural producers as well as turf and landscape practitioners in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are advised to keep informed about nutrient management regulations.

Chapter 262 of the Acts of 2012:authorized new statewide nutrient management regulations by the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture (MDAR);  permitted  the Cape Cod Commission, Martha’s Vineyard Commission, and Nantucket Commission to develop and adopt their own ordinances; and recognized the municipal regulations in place prior to a specific date. The text of the enabling legislation can be found at: http://1.usa.gov/1g0hRjx

Chapter 262 requires that regulations promulgated under its directive relative to plant nutrients are consistent with UMass Extension’s published information, educational materials and other public outreach programs relative to nutrient management and fertilizer. 

State-Wide

  • Massachusetts state-wide plant nutrient regulations (330 CMR 31.00) have been promulgated by MDAR and have been approved. They establish standards for application of plant nutrients to agricultural land and non-agricultural turf and lawns. The regulations for non-agricultural turf and lawns became effective on June 5, 2015. The regulations for agricultural land will become effective on November 5, 2015.

    Information, documents and resources can be accessed through the “Plant Nutrient Management” link on the MDAR main webpage or directly through the following link: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/agr/pesticides/plant-nutrient-management.html

    For more information contact Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources at (617) 626-1700.

Cape Cod

  • The following Cape Cod municipalities, under the purview of the Cape Cod Commission, have either passed ordinances regarding the application of fertilizer or had ordinances ‘grandfathered’ in. For more information on the details and status of these regulations contact the appropriate entity in each community.
     

* The towns of Banstable and Chatham have adopted regulations that include certification requirements for certain applicators.  For details, refer to http://bit.ly/1Fa3WmI.

The Islands

  • Martha’s Vineyard Commission: Municipal fertilizer application regulations are in effect in the island communities. For information on the Martha’s Vineyard Fertilizer Initiative including the towns’ regulations visit: http://www.mvboh.org/fertilizer.html or contact the Martha’s Vineyard Boards of Health.
     
  • Nantucket Board of Health: Regulation in effect prior to enactment of statewide statute. Regulations require training and licensing of professional fertilizer applicators who must abide by the Best Management Practices for Landscape Fertilizer Use on Nantucket Island manual.

    Nantucket regulation (Nantucket Board of Health Rules and Regulations 75.00, Content and Application of Fertilizer on Nantucket): http://bit.ly/1ea42zZ Adobe PDF icon

    Best Management Practices for Landscape Fertilizer Use on Nantucket Island manual: http://bit.ly/1pb8dLr Adobe PDF icon