Skip to Content
The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 64: Definitions applicable to Secs. 65 to 83

Section 64. As used in sections sixty-five to eighty-three, inclusive, the following words shall have the following meanings:—

''Agricultural lime'', all the various forms of lime intended or sold for fertilizing purposes or neutralizing acidity.

''Available phosphoric acid'', the sum of the water soluble and citric soluble phosphoric acid.

''Brand'', term, design, or trade-mark used in connection with one or several grades of commercial fertilizers.

''Bulk fertilizer'', commercial fertilizer distributed in a nonpackaged form.

''Commercial fertilizer'', 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, except unmanipulated animal and vegetable manures, marl, lime, limestone, wood ashes, and gypsum, and other products exempted by regulation of the commissioner.

''Distributor'', any person who imports, consigns, manufactures, produces, compounds, mixes, or blends commercial fertilizer, or who offers for sale, sells, barters or otherwise supplies commercial fertilizers in the commonwealth.

''Fertilizer'', commercially produced fertilizers used as soil and plant amendments; provided, that ''fertilizer'' shall not include organic compost or natural organic fertilizer.

''Fertilizer material'', commercial fertilizer which either contains important quantities of no more than one of the primary plant nutrients; nitrogen, phosphoric acid and potash, or has approximately eighty-five per cent of its plant nutrient content present in the form of a single chemical compound, or is derived from a plant or animal residue or by-product or a natural deposit which has been processed in such a way that its content of primary plant nutrients has not been materially changed except by purification and concentration.

''Grade'', the percentage of total nitrogen, available phosphorus or phosphoric acid, and soluble potassium or soluble potash stated in whole numbers in the same terms, order and percentages as in the guaranteed analysis, provided, however, that fertilizer materials, bone meal, manures, and similar raw materials may be guaranteed in fractional units.

''Guaranteed Analysis'', the minimum percentage of plant nutrients claimed in the following order and form: total nitrogen (N), with the percentage thereof, available phosphoric acid (P2O5), with the percentage thereof, and soluble potash (K2O), with the percentage thereof.

''Gypsum or land plaster'', crude calcium sulphate, and may contain twenty per cent of combined water.

''Investigational allowance'', an allowance for variations inherent for the taking, preparation and analysis of an official sample of commercial fertilizers.

''Label'', the display of all written, printed or graphic matter upon the immediate container or statement accompanying a commercial fertilizer, soil conditioner, or agricultural liming material.

''Labeling'', all written, printed or graphic matter upon or accompanying any commercial fertilizer, or advertisements, brochures, posters and television and radio announcements used in promoting the sale of such commercial fertilizers.

''Lawn'' or ''non-agricultural turf'', any non-crop land area that is covered by any grass species, excluding flower or vegetable gardens, pasture, hay land, trees, shrubs, turf grown on turf farms or any form of agricultural production or use.

''Mixed fertilizer'', commercial fertilizers containing any combination or mixture of fertilizer materials.

''Natural organic fertilizer'', materials derived from either plant or animal products containing 1 or more elements, other than carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, which are essential for plant growth. These materials may be subject to biological degradation processes under normal conditions of aging, rainfall, sun-curing, air drying, composting, rotting, enzymatic or anaerobic or aerobic bacterial action or any combination of those conditions. These materials shall not be mixed with synthetic materials or changed in any physical or chemical manner from the material's initial state except by manipulations such as drying, cooking, chopping, grinding, shredding, hydrolysis or pelleting.

''Official sample'', any sample of commercial fertilizer taken by the commissioner or his deputy and designated as ''official'' by the said commissioner or his deputy.

''Organic compost'', the biologically stable humus-like material derived from composting or the aerobic, thermophilic decomposition of organic matter.

''Phosphoric acid'', phosphoric anhydride (P2O5).

''Phosphorus containing fertilizer'', fertilizer labeled for use on lawn or non-agricultural turf in which the available phosphate content is greater than 0.67 per cent by weight, excluding organic compost and natural organic fertilizer.

''Potash'', potassium oxide (K2O).

''Soil conditioner'', any manipulated substance or mixture of substances whose primary function is to modify the physical structure of soils so as to favorably influence plant growth, except unmanipulated animal and vegetable manures, marl, lime, limestone, wood ashes, and gypsum. Examples of unmanipulated vegetable manures are hay, straw, peat, and leaf mold. Charcoal, sand, pumice, and clay, are unmanipulated natural substances.

Substances sold or offered for sale as soil conditioners must be registered.

''Specialty fertilizer'', commercial fertilizer distributed primarily for nonfarm use, such as home gardens, lawns, shrubbery, flowers, golf courses, municipal parks, cemeteries, greenhouses and nurseries.

''Ton'', means a weight of two thousand pounds avoirdupois.

''Per cent or percentage'', means the per cent by weight.