.01 Definitions.

A. In this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated.

B. Terms Defined.

(1) “Agricultural land” means land used for the production of crops or for raising livestock.

(2) “Brand” means the term, design, trademark, or other specific designation under which a commercial fertilizer or soil conditioner is distributed in the State.

(3) Commercial Fertilizer.

(a) “Commercial fertilizer” means any substance containing a recognized plant nutrient used for its plant nutrient content and designed for use or claimed to have value in promoting plant growth, except unmanipulated animal and vegetable manure, marl, lime, wood ashes, or gypsum.

(b) “Commercial fertilizer” includes a fertilizer-pesticide or a specialty fertilizer as defined by this chapter.

(c) The definitions of identity for a commercial fertilizer are provided in COMAR 15.18.01.

(4) “Custom-mix” means any commercial fertilizer mixed on specific request of a purchaser according to a formula furnished by the purchaser.

(5) “Department” means the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

(6) “Distribute” means to import, manufacture, produce, compound, mix, blend, barter, sell, offer for sale, consign, furnish, provide, or otherwise supply a commercial fertilizer or soil conditioner as part of a commercial enterprise.

(7) “Grade” means the percentage of total nitrogen (N), available phosphoric acid or phosphate (P2O5), and soluble potash (K2O) stated in whole numbers in the same terms, order, and percentages as in the "guaranteed analysis". Any "specialty fertilizer" or "mixed-to-order fertilizer" guarantee may be stated in decimal fractions of whole numbers.

(8) “Guaranteed analysis” means the minimum percentage of plant nutrients claimed as follows:

(a) Total nitrogen (N), available phosphate (P2O5), soluble potash (K2O);

(b) For unacidulated mineral phosphatic materials and basic slag, both total and available phosphate and the degree of fineness;

(c) For bone, tankage, and other organic phosphatic materials, total phosphate;

(d) Additional plant nutrients, when claimed, are to be expressed in elemental form; and

(e) Potential basicity or acidity may be expressed in terms of calcium carbonate equivalent in multiples of 100 pounds per ton.

(9) “Industrial sludge” means the accumulated semiliquid suspension, settled, or dried residue of solids deposited as a by-product of an industrial, agricultural, or manufacturing process that is claimed to have value in promoting plant growth, or in producing a physical or chemical change in the soil.

(10) “Label” means the display of all written, printed, or graphic matter on the immediate container or a statement accompanying a commercial fertilizer or soil conditioner.

(11) “Labeling” means all written, printed, or graphic matter on or accompanying any commercial fertilizer or soil conditioner, or the contents of any advertisement, brochure, poster, or television or radio announcement used in promoting the sale of a commercial fertilizer or soil conditioner.

(12) “Lot” means a definite quantity of commercial fertilizer or soil conditioner, identified by name, grade, or code designation as certified by the Secretary.

(13) “Microorganism” means organisms of microscopic size intended for use as a nitrogen-fixation agent which are claimed to have value in promoting plant growth.

(14) “Origin” means the original physical source of the product or nutrient.

(15) “Percent” or “percentage” means percentage by weight.

(16) “Person” includes the State, any county, municipal corporation, or other political subdivision of the State, or any of their units, or an individual, receiver, trustee, guardian, executor, administrator, fiduciary, or representative of any kind, or any partnership, firm, association, public or private corporation, or any other entity unless otherwise provided.

(17) “Primary plant nutrient” means a plant food that is essential for normal plant growth and includes nitrogen (N), available phosphate (P2O5), and potash (K2O).

(18) “Registrant” means any person who registers a commercial fertilizer or soil conditioner, pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

(19) Secondary and Micro Plant Nutrients.

(a) “Secondary and micro plant nutrients” means nutrients, other than the primary nutrients, that are essential for normal growth of plants.

(b) “Secondary plant nutrients” include calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S).

(c) “Micronutrients” include boron (B), chlorine (Cl), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), sodium (Na), and zinc (Zn).

(20) “Secretary” means the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary's designee.

(21) Soil Conditioner.

(a) “Soil conditioner” means any substance or mixture of substances, except a commercial fertilizer, unmanipulated animal and vegetable manures, agricultural liming material, or gypsum, intended for sale, offered for sale, or sold for:

(i) Manurial, soil enriching, or soil corrective purposes;

(ii) Promoting or stimulating the growth of plants;

(iii) Increasing the productivity of plants;

(iv) Improving the quality of crops; or

(v) Producing any chemical or physical change in the soil.

(b) “Soil conditioner” includes, but is not limited to, microorganisms and materials such as compost, peat, vermiculite, perlite, or digestate produced by anaerobic digestion that are incorporated into the soil.

(22) “Specialty fertilizer” means a commercial fertilizer distributed primarily for nonfarm use, such as home garden, lawn, shrubbery, flowers, golf course, municipal park, cemetery, greenhouse, or nursery, and may include a fertilizer used for any research or experimental purpose.