Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules  
Administrative Rules Division (ARD)  
611 W. Ottawa Street  
Lansing, MI 48909  
Phone: 517-335-8658 Fax: 517-335-9512  
1. Department:  
Agriculture and Rural Development  
2. Bureau:  
Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division  
3. Promulgation type:  
Full Process  
4. Title of proposed rule set:  
Regulation no. 634. Commercial fertilizers  
5. Rule numbers or rule set range of numbers:  
R 285.634.1 - R 285.634.8  
6. Estimated time frame:  
6 months  
Name of person filling out RFR:  
Jamie Guardiola  
E-mail of person filling out RFR:  
Phone number of person filling out RFR:  
Address of person filling out RFR:  
PO Box 30017  
Lansing, Michigan 48909  
7. Describe the general purpose of these rules, including any problems the changes are intended  
to address.  
MCL 24.239  
RFR-Page 2  
The rules provide for details on the sale of commercial fertilizers, both protecting consumers  
through requirements on guaranteed nutrients and labeling standards, as well as providing for  
standards on slow-release fertilizers. The rules also include a provision on reporting requirements  
for amounts sold. Proposed updates:  
Rule 1 & Rule 2 Update the element percentage solubility guarantee.  
•Align the minimum nutrient guarantee figures with specific and actual plant uptake, in addition to  
improved and more accurate laboratory testing technology. Meaning, plants can only utilize a  
given amount of each nutrient. Allowing a minimum guarantee that is smaller and more in line  
with plant uptake allows farmers to apply less fertilizer, which protects the environment from non-  
utilized nutrients being lost to soils, groundwater, and surface water.  
•Adopt the current nationally used standards, set by the American Association of Plant Food  
Control Officials (AAPFCO).  
•Remove redundant language.  
Rule 7 Update report due dates to annually.  
•Streamlines reporting for industry.  
•Eases administrative burdens.  
8. Please cite the specific promulgation authority for the rules (i.e. department director,  
commission, board, etc.).  
The director of the department shall enforce this part and may promulgate rules.  
A. Please list all applicable statutory references (MCLs, Executive Orders, etc.).  
MCL 324.8516, 324.8503(2) and 324.8506(2).  
B. Are the rules mandated by any applicable constitutional or statutory provision? If so, please  
The content for Rules 1-6 is called for by 324.8503(2); the content of Rule 7 is called for by  
324.8506(2); MCL 324.8516.  
9. Please describe the extent to which the rules conflict with or duplicate similar rules,  
compliance requirements, or other standards adopted at the state, regional, or federal level.  
The current rules are out of date and no longer align with similar provisions in other states. The  
amendments in this proposed rulemaking will adopt language from the 2020 AAPFCO Official  
Publication, Rules and Regulations Section Page 49, which will bring Michigan into alignment  
with other states in the Great Lakes region.  
10. Is the subject matter of the rules currently contained in any guideline, handbook, manual,  
instructional bulletin, form with instructions, or operational memoranda?  
The MDARD website contains a reporting fertilizer tonnage webpage that provides guidance on  
how to submit what is required in statute and rule. The proposed standards also exist in  
AAPFCO’s model fertilizer rules and regulations referenced above.  
11. Are the rules listed on the department’s annual regulatory plan as rules to be processed  
for the current year?  
12. Will the proposed rules be promulgated under Section 44 of the Administrative Procedures  
Act, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.244, or under the full rulemaking process?  
Full Process  
MCL 24.239  
RFR-Page 3  
13. Please describe the extent to which the rules exceed similar regulations, compliance  
requirements, or other standards adopted at the state, regional, or federal level.  
The proposed changes would bring Michigan into alignment with other states that have based their  
standards on the AAPFCO model, with some variation of specific water-soluble guarantees. These  
changes also move tonnage reporting from a twice-per-year requirement to a once-per-year  
requirement; most other states retain a bi-annual requirement.  
14. Do the rules incorporate the recommendations received from the public regarding any  
complaints or comments regarding the rules? If yes, please explain.  
Industry has suggested that reporting once a year would be more efficient.  
15. If amending an existing rule set, please provide the date of the last evaluation of the rules  
and the degree, if any, to which technology, economic conditions, or other factors have changed  
the regulatory activity covered by the rules since the last evaluation.  
The rules have not been changed since the Administrative Code was adopted in 1979.  
16. Are there any changes or developments since implementation that demonstrate there is no  
continued need for the rules, or any portion of the rules?  
No, these rules are still necessary to provide a level playing field between sellers and buyers of  
fertilizers. Furthermore, they provide a standard recognized across most states to ensure uniform  
regulation nationwide.  
17. Is there an applicable decision record (as defined in MCL 24.203(6) and required by MCL  
24.239(2))? If so, please attach the decision record.  
MCL 24.239