UMass Extension Nutrient Management
Click here to view specific information for plant nutrient regulations that apply statewide, on Cape Cod, and the islands.
Through thoughtful nutrient management planning, following guidelines, and the implementation of appropriate best management practices (BMPs), agricultural producers and land managers can be profitable while prioritizing the protection of natural resources, particularly water. 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 Management Practices for:
- Crops, Dairy, Livestock and Equine
- Greenhouse Crops and Floriculture
Other resources: UMass Soil and Plant Tissue Testing Lab
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: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2012/Chapter262
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. The role of UMass Extension relative to 330 CMR 31.00 is to be the source of technical expertise regarding acceptable practices for nutrient management in agricultural production as well as in turf management systems.
- 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 became effective on December 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
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources is the regulatory authority for 330 CMR 31.00. For more information contact MDAR at (617) 626-1700.
- Cape Cod Commission: The CCC developed a model bylaw that Cape municipalities could choose to adopt prior to a specific date.
Final Cape Cod model bylaw: view pdf
For more information: http://www.capecodcommission.org or (508) 362-3828
- 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.
- Barnstable*: Town Council. Regulation: www.capecodextension.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Chapter-78.pdf
- Brewster: Town Administrator and Board of Selectmen.
- Chatham*: Board of Health. Regulation: www.capecodextension.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Chatham-Fertilizer...
- Eastham: Conservation Commission Regulation: www.capecodextension.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/EASTHAM-FERTILIZER...
- Eastham: Board of Health Regulation: http://www.eastham-ma.gov/Public_Documents/EasthamMA_Health/BOHRegs2016 (see pages 43-49)
- Falmouth: Natural Resources. Regulation: ecode360.com/27443489
- Mashpee: Board of Selectmen. Regulation: http://www.mashpeema.gov/environmental-oversight-committee/files/nitrogen-control-bylaw
- Orleans: Town Administrator. Regulation: ecode360.com/28460573
- Provincetown: Board of Health. Regulation: Fertilizer regulations can be found here: http://www.provincetown-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/
* The towns of Banstable and Chatham have adopted regulations that include certification requirements for certain applicators. For details, refer to Cape Cod Cooperative Extension Fertilizer Regulation & Certification
- 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. This manual as well as other important documents related to fertilizer regulations can be found on the www.nantucket-ma.gov/DocumentCenter website.