Fertilizer Manufacturer/Distributors and Soil Conditioners License

Agency: Agriculture and Rural Development

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) administers licenses, registrations, inspects and tests fertilizer, soil conditioner, and liming materials distributed or manufactured inMichigan.

Michigan's fertilizer program regulates over 500 manufacturers and distributors of over 1.45 million tons of fertilizer, soil conditioner, and liming materials for both farm and non-farm use. Michiganfarmers and residents rely on this quality assurance and consumer protection program to maximize yields and maintain a profitable farm operation. In addition, millions of state residents depend on this program to protect them from fraud when purchasing fertilizer for home and garden use.


Fertilizer Manufacturer/Distributor and Soil Conditioner License


Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended; Part 85, Fertilizers   



 1.  Applicability (activities that require the permit)  

All firms that have their name and address on the labeling or invoicing for an agricultural (farm use) fertilizer manufactured or distributed in the State of Michiganare required to obtain a facility license. A license is required for each of these facilities whether they are located in or out of Michigan. Firms manufacturing only specialty (non-farm use) fertilizers do not need a license unless custom blending.   

A firm may acquire a facility license in lieu of separate product registrations for custom blends of soil conditioners and specialty fertilizers. This license only applies to mixes specifically requested by consumer prior to blending and this consumer is the end-user of the blend. The custom blender will need to document this request and mix only the amount requested. All pre-packaged and other non-custom blends of soil conditioners and specialty use fertilizers do not need a license and must continue to be registered.


 2.  Pre-Application Requirements   

Fertilizer and soil conditioner licensees must comply with all parts of Part 85, Fertilizers.

 3.  Application Submission Requirements   

  • Download and print a copy of the application form.  
  • Complete the application, attach your check or money order made out to the State of Michigan and mail it to the address on the back of the application.  A label must be submitted for each new product.

License Renewals   

For all current licensees, a renewal application will be placed in the U.S. mail by the end of November. MDARD recommends the use of the renewal application received in the mail because it will contain specific company information such as your license number and company name as previously submitted to MDARD. Any additions, deletions, and other changes can be made right on the renewal form. Licensees who have not received their application by December 15th should immediately contact MDARD at 517-284-5751 or send an email to curryL9@michigan.gov.

 4.  Procedures and Time-Frame for Obtaining Permit or Approval   

  • All licenses expire on December 31 and must be renewed on an annual basis.
  • The typical "error-free" application is normally processed within 4 weeks.    

 5.  Operational Requirements   

Tonnage Reporting   

All licensees are required to submit a semi-annual tonnage reports and pay a tonnage-based inspection fee of $0.10 per ton of fertilizer manufactured or distributed in Michigan. All agricultural use fertilizer must also pay a groundwater protection fee of $0.015 per percent of nitrogen in the fertilizer for each ton sold.

The inspection fees assessed to fertilizer and soil conditioner manufacturers and distributors in Michiganare based on the quantity of fertilizer distributed, rather than the number of products in a company's line. The fee is levied on each ton of fertilizer manufactured or distributed in this state. The tonnage report must be reported on electronic or paper forms provided by MDARD and is automatically mailed to all licensees near the end of each reporting period. For more information, go to MDA's tonnage reporting website.   

  • Fertilizer licenses will not be renewed until the licensee is caught up on tonnage reporting and inspection fee payments.
  • Reports and payments are due not more than 30 days after June 30 and not more than 30 days after December 31, respectively.
  • Licensees and registrants who have not received their semiannual reporting form by July 15 or January 15, respectively, should immediately contact MDARD at 517-284-5645 or InmanCA@michigan.gov.
  • Completion and return of the fee payment report is required even if the licensee or registrant incurs no inspection fees.
  • A late fee will be assessed if the fee payment report is not postmarked by the filing deadline. The late fee is 10% of the inspection fee or $50.00, whichever is greater. The late fee is assessed on all late reports.

What should I do if there are changes in company, ownership, name, or address?   

Any change in the ownership of a licensed firm will require an application and fee for a new license. Companies with a change of name and/or address will need to send written notification to MDARD so records can be updated accordingly.


 6.  Fees   

  • $100 per facility
  • 10 cents per ton of all fertilizer and soil conditioners manufactured/distributed in Michigan.
  • Groundwater protection fee of 1.5 cents per percent of nitrogen per ton sold for all agricultural use fertilizer.   

 7.  Appeal Process  

A license shall not be revoked or refused until the licensee or applicant has been given the opportunity by the director of the department to appear for a hearing. The contested case hearing process is outlined in the Administrative Procedures Act, 1969 PA 306.   

 8.  Public Input Opportunities  

Complaints or comments related to fertilizer licensing and inspections may be filed with MDARD at any time. Complaints are investigated by field staff, a violation finding would be considered in the decision making process. A list of fertilizer and soil conditioner licensees is available upon request by contacting MDARD at the number below.

E. Contact Information:   

MDARD Customer Service Center at 1-800-292-3939, Monday - Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.


Creation/Revision Date:

September 25, 2014