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.03 Definitions.

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

B. Terms Defined.

(1) "Account identification number" means the unique identifier used by the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation to identify a unit of land.

(2) "Agricultural operation" means a business or activity that:

(a) Tills, crops, keeps, pastures, or produces an agricultural product, including livestock, poultry, plants, trees, sod, food, feed, or fiber by in-ground, out-of-ground, container, or other culture; and

(b) Has a gross annual income of $2,500 or more, or has eight or more animal units.

(3) "Animal unit" means the unit of measure equivalent to 1,000 pounds of live animal weight.

(4) "Best management practice" means a conservation or pollution control practice that manages soil, nutrient losses, or other potential pollutant sources to:

(a) Minimize nutrient runoff or pollution of water resources; or

(b) Improve agricultural production and management.

(5) "Bioavailable" means a nutrient supply that is either currently, or likely to be, available to a plant or crop.

(6) "Biosolids" means any thickened liquid, suspended or settled solid, or dried residue extracted from sewage at a sewage treatment plant, including domestic sewage, that:

(a) Contains recognized plant nutrients or liquid byproducts that meet federal and State regulations for beneficial use by land application or other methods; and

(b) Is regulated as sewage sludge, pursuant to Environment Article, §9-201 et seq., Annotated Code of Maryland.

(7) "Certified farm operator" means an individual certified by the Department under this subtitle to prepare a nutrient management plan solely for agricultural land that the individual:

(a) Owns;

(b) Operates; or

(c) Has a legal interest in.

(8) "Certified nutrient management consultant" or "consultant" means an individual certified by the Department under this subtitle to prepare a nutrient management plan.

(9) Chemical Fertilizer.

(a) "Chemical fertilizer" means a manufactured or blended nutrient source, usually in granular or liquid form, containing a guaranteed analysis of primary nutrients.

(b) "Chemical fertilizer" does not include a product blended from all natural organic fertilizer sources.

(10) "Controlled release fertilizer" means a type of fertilizer that releases nutrients over time and which may be categorized as follows:

(a) Natural organics;

(b) Organic, synthetic isobutylidene diurea and urea fomaldehyde;

(c) Sulfur-coated synthetic organic or inorganic fertilizers; and

(d) Inorganic, resin-coated fertilizers.

(11) "Cover crop" means a crop including, but not limited to, cereal grains, that is planted following the harvest of summer crops for the purpose of:

(a) Seasonal protection of soil;

(b) Assimilation of residual nitrogen left from a previous crop; and

(c) Continued mineralization of nitrogen.

(12) "Crop or plant nutrient needs" means the primary nutrient requirements of a crop, usually determined as pounds of total nitrogen (N), available phosphate (P2O5), or soluble potash (K2O), required for production of a crop yield unit, such as a bushel of corn.

(13) "Department" means the Maryland Department of Agriculture or its designee.

(14) "Environmental risk assessment for out-of-ground production" means a method used to evaluate risk from stormwater and runoff management and water application (irrigation) methods that is acceptable to the Department, as described in the Maryland Nutrient Management Manual, Section II-D.

(15) "Expected crop yield" means a realistic crop yield for the agricultural operation determined by yield records or soil productivity information.

(16) "Fertility index value (FIV)" means an index developed by the University of Maryland that is:

(a) Used to describe the relative availability of nutrients to a plant or crop; and

(b) Described in the Maryland Nutrient Management Manual, Section II-B.

(17) "Fertilizer" means a substance containing a recognized primary plant nutrient used for its plant nutrient content and designed for use in promoting plant growth.

(18) "Field identification number" means a number or unique identifier used by an agricultural operator to distinguish or pinpoint the location of a field or management unit on a farm.

(19) "Liming" means the application of materials containing the carbonates, oxides, or hydroxides of calcium or magnesium in a condition, and in a quantity, adequate to manage soil acidity.

(20) "Management unit" means an area sharing common characteristics, including soil type, nutrient content, and plant type or crop produced, so that nutrients can be recommended and managed in a uniform and consistent manner.

(21) "Manure management" means operations and conditions specific to an agricultural operation that has animals, or uses animal manure or waste nutrients from animal production. The purpose of manure management in nutrient management planning is to improve efficiency and effectiveness of nutrient utilization and to minimize the potential for nutrient loss from the management of animals or their manure and associated waste nutrients. Guidelines for manure management are described in the Maryland Nutrient Management Manual, Section III-C.

(22) "Mineralization" means the process that converts unavailable organic forms of nutrient elements to an available inorganic state as a result of bacterial decomposition.

(23) "Natural organic fertilizer" means a fertilizer derived from plant or animal products, including animal manure, biosolids, green manure, compost, or plant materials, or other residuals used as a source of primary nutrients, which:

(a) Typically are not mixed with synthetic materials; or

(b) Are not changed in any physical or chemical manner from their initial state, except by means of cooking, chopping, composting, drying, grinding, shredding, or pelleting.

(24) "Nutrient application rate" means the quantity of primary nutrients, including total nitrogen (N), available phosphate (P2O5), or soluble potash (K2O), recommended by a certified consultant to:

(a) Supply crop or plant nutrient needs; and

(b) Achieve realistic yield or plant production goals, as defined by this chapter.

(25) "Nutrient content" means the percentage of any primary nutrients as total nitrogen (N), available phosphate (P2O5), or soluble potash (K2O) in any type or source of fertilizer.

(26) "Nutrient management plan" means a plan prepared by a certified nutrient management consultant or certified farm operator to manage the amount, placement, timing, and application of animal manure, fertilizer, biosolids, or other plant nutrients to minimize nutrient loss or runoff and to maintain the productivity of soil when growing agricultural products.

(27) "Operator" means a person who owns or manages an agricultural operation.

(28) "Out-of-ground or container production" means the production of plants whose roots are not actually growing in the soil column.

(29) "Person" means 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.

(30) "Phosphorus site index" means a procedure developed by the University of Maryland, approved by the Department, and described in the Maryland Nutrient Management Manual, Section II-C, that uses characteristics of soils, landforms, and management practices to identify potential risk of phosphorus losses from soils to waters.

(31) "Plant production goal" means a statement of the estimated length of time that plants will be grown, and appropriate measure of expected plant size, such as height or diameter.

(32) "Primary nutrients" means a plant food that is essential for normal plant growth, and includes total nitrogen (N), available phosphate (P2O5), or soluble potash (K2O).

(33) "Residual nutrients" means the level of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium available in the soil from previous nutrient sources or unharvested plants or plant parts, or the baseline nutrient levels in the soil.

(34) "Soil leaching potential" means the potential for a given soil to be subject to nitrate and soluble chemical leaching below the root zone.

(35) "Soil pH level" means the relative acidity or alkalinity of a soil and refers to the hydrogen ion concentration in the soil solution.

(36) "Substrate" means organic or inorganic material, often bark, peat, and sand, used as media components in a container to support the plant and contain the root system.

(37) "Volatilization" means a process in which nitrogen losses to the atmosphere occur as ammonia.

(38) "Watershed code" means the code used by the State to identify a hydrologic unit area.

(39) Waters.

(a) "Waters" means surface water or ground water, including:

(i) That part of the Atlantic Ocean within the boundaries of the State;

(ii) The Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries; and

(iii) All ponds, streams, natural wetlands, and drainage ditches or public drainage systems.

(b) "Waters" do not include irrigation and treatment ditches installed to hold, transform, treat, or transfer water or wastewater, if a separation is maintained between the ditches and waters, as defined in §B(38)(a) of this regulation, at all times.