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Label Requirements of specialty and other bagged fertilizers

Uniform labeling requirements help promote uniformity in labeling of specialty and other bagged fertilizers. The labels also inform consumers of the plant nutrient values claimed to be present in the fertilizer.

To comply with Michigan's fertilizer regulations, all bagged fertilizers, including packaged custom mixed fertilizers, must be conspicuously labeled with the following information:

  1. Product or brand name
  2. N-P-K grade
  3. Net weight
  4. Guaranteed analysis 
  5. Name and address of the registrant or licensee

Product or brand names

This is any term, design or trademark used in connection with one or several grades of fertilizer. The brand can not be misleading or numerals may not be used in the brand that are misleading.

Example: An acceptable brand would be "SuperGro Supreme."

Fertilizer grades

This indicates the percentage (by weight) of the three major nutrients in a fertilizer. It is the shorthand representation of the guarantees for Total Nitrogen (N), Available Phosphate (P2O5) and Soluble Potash (K2O) with each guarantee separated by a hyphen, "-". A more common way is to refer to the percentage of N-P-K.

Example: 12-15-24 means 12% nitrogen, 15% available phosphate, and 24% soluble potash.

Net Weight

All fertilizers (bag, bulk or liquid) must be sold on the basis of net weight. This may be expressed in english or metric units.

Guaranteed Analysis

The Guaranteed Analysis states the manufacturer's guarantee for the claimed nutrients in a specific order and format. The product cannot contain less than a listed guarantee.  To ensure the guaranteed analysis is correct, the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development samples and tests fertilizer products each year.

Additional plant nutrients, other than nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium claimed to be present in any form or manner for fertilizers must meet or exceed indicated quantities. The specific order and minimum amount to guarantee is listed below:

Element

Agricultural Fertilizers
(percent)

Specialty Fertilizers
(percent)

Calcium (Ca)

1.00

1.00

Magnesium (Mg)

1.00

0.50

Sulfur (S)

1.00

1.00

Boron (B)

0.125

0.02

Chlorine

-

0.10

Copper (Cu)

0.05 (chelate 0.10)

0.50

Iron (Fe)

0.10

0.10

Manganese (Mn)

1.00

1.00

Molybdenum (Mo)

0.04

0.04

Zinc (Zn)

0.50 (chelate 0.125)

0.50

Name and Address of Registrant or Licensee

The name and address of the person or company responsible for the guarantees on the label must be listed on the label. The address must include the street address, city, state and zip code; however, the street address may be omitted if it is shown in the current city directory or telephone directory.

Comments

  • The order of the main five labeling requirements is not fixed as long as all are present and are in a readable and conspicuous place on the label.
  • Other states may have additional labeling requirements, therefore it is always advisable to consult with the appropriate fertilizer manager in each state to review a draft of the label before printing.