Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 3.2. Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food
Chapter 36. Fertilizer

§ 3.2-3600. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"AAPFCO" means the Association of American Plant Food Control Officials.

"Anaerobic digestion" means the controlled anaerobic biological decomposition of organic waste material to produce biogas and digestate.

"AOAC International" means the Association of Analytical Communities, formerly the Association of Official Analytical Chemists.

"Brand" means a term, design, trademark or product name under which a regulated product is distributed.

"Bulk" means in nonpackaged form.

"Bulk fertilizer" means a fertilizer distributed in a nonpackaged form.

"Commercial fertilizer" means a fertilizer distributed for farm use, or for any other use, other than any specialty fertilizer use.

"Compost" means a biologically stable material derived from the composting process.

"Composting" means the biological decomposition of organic matter through a process that inhibits pathogens, viable weed seeds, and odors, accomplished by mixing and piling so as to promote aerobic decay, anaerobic decay, or both aerobic and anaerobic decay.

"Contractor-applicator" means any person required to hold a permit to apply any regulated product pursuant to § 3.2-3608.

"Custom medium" means a horticultural growing medium that is prepared to the exact specifications of the person who will be planting in the medium and delivered to that person without intermediate or further distribution.

"Deficiency" means the amount of nutrient found by analysis to be less than that guaranteed, which may result from a lack of nutrient ingredients, or from lack of uniformity.

"Digestate" means a biologically stable material derived from the process of anaerobic digestion.

"Distribute" means to import, consign, manufacture, produce, compound, mix, blend, or in any way alter, the chemical or physical characteristics of a regulated product, or to offer for sale, sell, barter, warehouse or otherwise supply regulated product in the Commonwealth.

"Distributor" means any person who distributes.

"Fertilizer" means any substance containing one or more recognized plant nutrients, which is used for its plant nutrient content, and which is designed for use, or claimed to have value, in promoting plant growth. Fertilizer does not include unmanipulated animal and vegetable manures, marl, lime, limestone, and other products exempted by regulation.

"Fertilizer material" means a fertilizer that: (i) contains important quantities of no more than one of the primary plant nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphate (P205) and potash (K20); (ii) has 85 percent or more of its plant nutrient content present in the form of a single chemical compound; or (iii) is derived from a plant or animal residue, a by-product, or a natural material deposit that has been processed or conditioned in such a way that its content of plant nutrients has not been materially changed, except by purification and concentration.

"Grade" means the percentage of total nitrogen (N), available phosphate (P205) and soluble potash (K20), stated in whole numbers in the same terms, order, and percentages as in the guaranteed analysis, except that fertilizer materials, specialty fertilizers, bone meal, manures and similar raw materials may be guaranteed in fractional units.

"Guaranteed analysis" means the minimum percentage of plant nutrients claimed as required by this chapter to be displayed on the label of a regulated product.

"Guarantor" means the person whose name appears on the label of a regulated product.

"Horticultural growing medium" means any substance or mixture of substances that is promoted as or is intended to function as an artificial soil for the managed growth of horticultural crops.

"Industrial co-product" means any industrial waste or byproduct, including exceptional quality biosolids and waste treatment residuals, that can be beneficially recycled for its plant nutrient content or soil amendment characteristics, that meets the definition of fertilizer, soil amendment, or horticultural growing medium.

"Investigational allowance" means an allowance for variations, inherent in the taking, preparation, and analysis of an official sample.

"Label" means the display of all written, printed, or graphic matter, upon the immediate container, or a statement accompanying a regulated product, including an invoice.

"Labeling" means all written, printed, or graphic matter, upon or accompanying any regulated product, including invoices, advertisements, brochures, posters, television and radio announcements, and internet content used in promoting the sale of the regulated product.

"Lawn fertilizer" means any fertilizer intended for nonagricultural use on newly established turf areas from sod or seed during the first growing season, turf areas being repaired or renovated, and turf areas where soil tests performed within the past three years indicate a nutrient deficiency.

"Lawn maintenance fertilizer" means any fertilizer intended for the nonagricultural routine maintenance of turf.

"Licensee" means the person who receives a license to distribute any regulated product under the provisions of this chapter.

"Lot" means an identifiable quantity of produced material that can be sampled officially according to AOAC International procedures, up to and including a freight car load or 50 tons maximum, or that amount contained in a single vehicle, or that amount delivered under a single invoice.

"Manipulated manure" means animal or vegetable manure that is ground, pelletized, mechanically dried, packaged, supplemented with plant nutrients or other substances other than phosphorus, or otherwise treated in a manner to assist with the sale or distribution of the manure as a fertilizer or soil or plant additive.

"Manufacturer" means any person who manufactures, produces, compounds, mixes, blends, or in any way alters the chemical or physical characteristics of any regulated product.

"Mixed fertilizer" means a fertilizer containing any combination or mixture of fertilizer materials.

"Official analysis" means the analysis of an official sample, made by the Commissioner.

"Official sample" means the sample of regulated product taken by the Commissioner.

"Percent" or "percentage" means the percentage by weight.

"Primary nutrient" includes total nitrogen (N), available phosphate (P205), and soluble potash (K20).

"Quantity statement" means the net weight (mass), net volume (liquid or dry), count or other form of measurement of a commodity.

"Registrant" means the person who registers regulated products, under the provisions of this chapter.

"Regulated product" means any product governed by this chapter, including any fertilizer, specialty fertilizer, soil amendment, digestate, and horticultural growing medium.

"Soil amendment" means any substance or mixture of substances intended to improve the physical, chemical, biochemical, biological, or other characteristics of the soil. The following are exempt from the definition of "soil amendment": fertilizer, unmanipulated or composted animal and vegetable manures, horticultural growing media, agricultural liming materials, unmixed mulch and unmixed peat.

"Specialty fertilizer" means a fertilizer distributed for nonfarm use, including use on home gardens, lawns, shrubbery, flowers, golf courses, municipal parks, cemeteries, greenhouses and nurseries.

"Stop sale, use, removal, or seizure order" means an order that prohibits the distributor from selling, relocating, using, or disposing of a lot of regulated product, or portion thereof, in any manner, until the Commissioner or the court gives written permission to sell, relocate, use or dispose of the lot of regulated product or portion thereof.

"Ton" means a unit of 2000 pounds avoirdupois weight.

"Turf" means nonagricultural land that is planted as closely mowed, managed grass and includes golf courses, parks, cemeteries, publicly owned lands, and residential, commercial, or industrial property.

"Unmanipulated manure" means substances composed of the excreta of domestic animals, or domestic fowls, that has not been processed or conditioned in any manner including processing or conditioning by drying, grinding, pelleting, shredding, addition of plant food, mixing artificially with any material or materials (other than those that have been used for bedding, sanitary or feeding purposes for such animals or fowls), or by any other means.

1994, c. 740, § 3.1-106.2; 2002, c. 473; 2008, c. 860; 2011, cc. 341, 353, 552, 564; 2022, cc. 538, 539.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.