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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:

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:

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:

    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

* The towns of Banstable and Chatham have adopted regulations that include certification requirements for certain applicators.  For details, refer to

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: 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): Adobe PDF icon

    Best Management Practices for Landscape Fertilizer Use on Nantucket Island manual: Adobe PDF icon