Montana Department of Agriculture logo

Planting canola in Montana. MDA administers programs for the management of fertilizer products.

The program licenses commercial fertilizer manufacturers, distributors and dealers to ensure the quality of fertilizer and soil amendment products sold in Montana.

Objectives:

  • Safeguard the health of humans, animals, and plants
  • Promote high-quality commercial fertilizer and soil amendment products that are safe, uniform and effective
  • Verify truth in labeling of products
  • Ensure standardization and uniformity of terms and definitions used in the fertilizer industry

The program investigates complaints and collects random samples of products at manufacturing sites, storage areas, distribution and transit points, retail stores and end-user locations. Samples are sent to the department's Analytical Laboratory in Bozeman, which analyzes them for compliance with labeling claims and for the presence of trace metals that may be harmful to plants, animals or humans.

Results are reported to the registrant or blending facility. All fertilizer products must be labeled properly and accurately. If there are any problems, the registrant or blending facility is contacted for resolution.

Any business that manufactures a commercial fertilizer or soil amendment sold in Montana, or who distributes a commercial fertilizer or soil amendment in Montana. Distributors of un-manipulated animal or vegetable manures and specialty fertilizers are exempt.

Download the
Fertilizer Dealer License
Application Form

 

Commercial dealers and distributors of fertilizer or soil amendment products must obtain a Fertilizer/Soil Amendment Dealer License before conducting business in Montana or shipping products into the state. Dealers who sell exclusively unprocessed animal or vegetable manures or specialty fertilizer packaged for non-farm use do not need this license.

Each facility, distributing or handling commercial fertilizers or soil amendments in this state must have a license. Licensing must be obtained before January 1st of each year.

Fees: Annual Fertilizer Dealer License

  • $75.00 - Application for licensing a new location
  • $50.00 - Renewal application received before January 1st
  • $75.00 - Renewal Application received after January 1st

Soil Amendments packaged and labeled primarily for non-farm use will be regulated in the same manner as Specialty Fertilizers. Soil Amendments (a.k.a. "Specialty Soil Amendments") meeting this definition are still required to be registered with the department. However, any person that only distributes “Specialty Products” (fertilizer and soil amendments) are exempt from licensing, reporting bi-annual tonnage assessment and reporting semi-annual tonnage.

MDA ensures that each facility handling anhydrous ammonia, such as the one pictured here, is in compliance with the Anhydrous Ammonia Facilities Safety Act section of the Montana Commercial Fertilizer Act and Administrative Rules as they apply to storage and handling at dealer locations.

Montana's agricultural producers use an average of 30,000 tons of anhydrous ammonia each year for the production of agricultural crops. It is the department's responsibility to ensure that each facility handling this agricultural fertilizer is in compliance with the Anhydrous Ammonia Facilities Safety Act section of the Montana Commercial Fertilizer Act and Administrative Rules as they apply to storage and handling at dealer locations.

There are approximately 18 retail agricultural sites in Montana registered with the EPA's Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office. The department's goal is to visit each facility within a three-year inspection cycle.

Accidental spills of anhydrous ammonia shall be reported to the National Response Center, Montana Disaster and Emergency Services as well as the Department of Agriculture.

Licensing for anhydrous ammonia dealers is a part of the annual Fertilizer/Soil Amendment Dealer License effective January 1st of each year.

Anhydrous Ammonia Inspections

The anhydrous ammonia program conducts inspection of anhydrous ammonia facilities and equipment when this product is used as an agricultural fertilizer. The inspection verifies compliance with equipment safety standards to protect lives, the environment, and to assure the continued availability of this valuable agricultural fertilizer.

Storage Tank & Farm Wagon Inspection

Tank inspections focus on site locations, condition of tanks, piping and valves, transfer hoses, and required safety equipment.

Farm wagon inspections focus on tank identification, labeling, protective guards and valves, gauges, hoses, safety relief valves, required personnel protective equipment, and maintenance logs. The Motor Vehicle Inspection Bureau regulates highway safety of farm wagons used to transport anhydrous ammonia from the dealer to the producer.

Anhydrous Ammonia Sites

The anhydrous ammonia program also approves new or relocated sites through its application for new site and environmental review questionnaire process. The department is also working with the agriculture community to develop an ongoing training and education program for anyone interested in learning about anhydrous ammonia.

Any fertilizer or soil amendment that contains a waste or sewage sludge distributed as a single ingredient product or blended with other ingredients must be identified at the time of registration. The registrant of a fertilizer or soil amendment containing waste or a hazardous waste-derived fertilizer or soil amendment, shall state in the application the source of the waste and the level of metals in the end product including, but not limited to, arsenic, cadmium, and lead.

Download the
New Product Registration Form
for Commercial &
Specialty Fertilizers
& Soil Amendments

 

Commercial fertilizer, soil amendment, or specialty fertilizer must be registered by January 1st of each year by the manufacturer or the supplier on the manufacturer's behalf. Product labels are required at the time of registration.

Fees

Annual Fertilizer Product Registration

  • $45.00/product - Specialty Fertilizer
  • $30.00/product - Commercial Fertilizer
  • $20.00/product - Soil Amendments

During the 2017 Legislative Session, the Montana Commercial Fertilizer Act was amended. As a result, the quarterly tonnage assessment period was eliminated and replaced with a bi-annual tonnage assessment period.

The Bi-annual Tonnage Assessment Report is for reporting commercial fertilizers and soil amendments distributed in or into the state where the Montana assessment fee has not been paid on the product. The quantities reported may be to a wholesale or retail market such as a blender or distributor, but may also be a direct shipment to an end user. The fees associated with this report contribute to fund MSU research and extension, as well as the department’s fertilizer inspection program to promote safe and effective products in Montana.

Conversely, the Semi-annual Tonnage Report is for reporting commercial fertilizer and soil amendment quantities where the assessment fees have already been paid. The quantities submitted on this report are the amounts distributed to an end user who will apply the product.

Bi-annual Tonnage Assessment Report: Each in-state manufacturer and supplier who distributes a soil amendment or commercial fertilizer in this state to a person regardless of license status, except specialty products (fertilizer or soil amendment) and unmanipulated animal or vegetable manures, shall file with the department on forms approved by the department a bi-annual statement for each of the reporting periods ending June 30 and December 31. The bi-annual statement must indicate the number of net tons of each commercial fertilizer and soil amendment distributed in this state during the reporting period and to whom it was distributed. The report is due 30 days after the last day of the reporting period. The in-state manufacturer or supplier shall pay the appropriate fees at that time.

Semi-Annual Tonnage Report: Each Licensee who distributes a soil amendment or commercial fertilizer, except specialty products (fertilizer or soil amendment) and un-manipulated animal or vegetable manures, to an unlicensed person in this state shall file with the department on forms approved by the department a semi-annual tonnage statement for the reporting periods ending June 30 and December 31. This tonnage statement must indicate the number of net tons of each commercial fertilizer and soil amendment distributed in this state during the six-month period. The tonnage statement is due 30 days after the last day of the reporting period. There are no fees associated with the semi-annual report.

Fertilizer Program News

Montana Cherry Growers to Receive Survey

Survey results will determine future of cherry checkoff

Montana Cherry Growers to Receive Survey

Helena, Mont. –  Montana’s cherry growers will have the opportunity to make their voice heard in the coming weeks. The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is submitting a referendum to all known growers and producers of cherries in Montana to determine whether to continue the Montana Cherry Research & Market Development Program, commonly known as the cherry checkoff. Paper ballots will be mailed on Thursday, November 16, 2017 and must be returned via postage-paid envelope by Friday, December 1, 2017.

Meeting Notice: Hail Board, 2017 Crop Year Annual Report Available

November 29, 2017 at the Heritage Inn in Great Falls

Meeting Notice: Hail Board, 2017 Crop Year Annual Report Available

The State Hail Board will meet on November 29, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. at the Heritage Inn in Great Falls, MT. Click here for the meeting agenda. 

The Hail Insurance Program 2017 Crop Year Annual Report is also now available. Click here to view or download the report.

MDA Director Thomas Joins Fellow North American State & Provincial Agriculture Officials for Trade Talks

MDA Director Thomas Joins Fellow North American State & Provincial Agriculture Officials for Trade Talks

Helena, Mont. – Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) Director Ben Thomas joined state and provincial counterparts from the United States, Mexico and Canada last week to stress the necessity of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for agriculture and to call on their respective federal governments to ensure a modernized NAFTA does not harm agriculture. North American state and provincial agriculture officials gathered last week in Denver, Colo. for the 26th annual Tri-National Agricultural Accord. The Tri-National Agricultural Accord represents a longstanding commitment among the senior state and provincial agricultural officials of North America to work together collaboratively on agricultural trade and development issues.

Falina Hutchinson
Feed/Fertilizer Program Specialist

Phone : (406) 444-5415
E-mail : FHutchinson@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-9466

 

Bob Church
Feed/Fertilizer Program Manager

Phone : (406) 444-5410
E-mail : BChurch@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-9466

 

Larry Krum
Anhydrous Ammonia / Seed Potato/ Produce Program Manager

Phone: (406) 444-5419
E-mail: LKrum@mt.gov
Fax: (406) 444-9466
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

 

Kay Deskins
Licensing & Registration Specialist

Phone : (406) 444-0510
E-mail : KDeskins@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-9466

 

Commodity Services Bureau
Phone : (406) 444-3950
E-mail : csb-mtplants@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-9466
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

 

Fertilizer Forms & Files

To download a file in the table below, click on a file Title to highlight it, then click on the Download File Download Icon or Get URL File Link URL Icon icons at the top right of the table, OR click directly on a file Name.
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