Missouri Fertilizer Control Board – Does It Do What You Think?

Sep 16, 2021 | Latest news

The Missouri Fertilizer Control Board is first and foremost a quality control and protection agency. It is charged with the task of ensuring a quality product for use in the state as dictated by Missouri Fertilizer Law.

The word “control” in the agency’s title may give the impression of controlling the amount of fertilizer used or how it’s used.  However, “control” is in reference to the quality of product for sale in Missouri and protecting the end user.

There are several methods for controlling the quality of fertilizer products outlined in Missouri Fertilizer Law:

Permits required for the sale of fertilizer
In order to lawfully sell, offer for sale, or expose for sale any fertilizer in Missouri, a permit must first be obtained from the Missouri Fertilizer Control Board.  The permit must be renewed by June 30 each year.
If a distributor has knowingly violated any of the provisions in Missouri Fertilizer Law, the Missouri Fertilizer Control Board may revoke or suspend the distributor’s permit.

Prohibits the sale of misbranded fertilizer
Missouri Fertilizer Law states it is unlawful to sell, offer for sale, or expose for sale any fertilizer in Missouri that is misbranded.  There are four ways a fertilizer can be misbranded.

  • Failing to carry the printed statement as required under the law.
  • The chemical composition of the fertilizer does not meet the stated quality within allowable tolerances.
  • The container for the fertilizer or any statement accompanying it carries false or misleading statements.
  • Making misleading statements concerning the fertilizer’s agricultural value on any advertising matter or associated with the fertilizer.

Requires the reporting of fertilizer sales
very fertilizer distributer in Missouri is required to report the tonnage of fertilizer sold by their facility.  A fee based upon the tonnage amount reported is remitted to the Missouri Fertilizer Control Board.  The fees collected are utilized by the board to administer Missouri fertilizer law.

All reporting is based upon total fertilizer sales by the distributor.  Individual customer information is kept private by the distributor.

Assesses penalties for deficiency in fertilizer
There are eight inspectors who take samples of fertilizer randomly and regularly from distributors and wholesalers.  If any fertilizer sold in Missouri is determined deficient from the guaranteed quality, penalties are assessed.

Does the Missouri Fertilizer Control Board control the amount of fertilizer I can use?
No.  The Missouri Fertilizer Control Board does not control the amount of fertilizer used or how it is applied.

As part of Missouri Fertilizer Law, nutrient research, education, and outreach programs are in place to recommend practices to optimize nutrient use efficiency, ensure soil fertility, and address environmental concerns regarding fertilizer use.  The results of research funded by the Missouri Fertilizer Control Board will be extended for practical use to farmers and agribusinesses in Missouri.

Through the adoption of voluntary nutrient stewardship practices, such as the 4R program, end users can increase the economic and agronomic benefits of fertilizer.  By implementing the 4Rs of nutrient stewardship and using fertilizers from the right source, at the right rate, at the right time, and in the right place, farmers and agribusinesses can decrease negative impact to the environment while increasing efficiency and profitability.

If you would like to read through the Missouri Fertilizer Law and the legislative direction given to the Missouri Fertilizer Control Board, please visit www.mofcb.com for details or you can view the law here in its entirety.