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Reporting Fertilizer Tonnage

Commercial Fertilizer Inspection & Water Quality Protection Fee Payment Report

Inspection fees are used to help pay for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) fertilizer and soil conditioner inspection and sampling activities. MDARD routinely inspects manufacturers and distributors of agricultural and specialty (non-farm use) fertilizers for compliance with labeling, storage and other requirements that protect consumers and the environment and enable fair competition. The MDARD Inspection staff also collects fertilizer samples that are tested for nutrient guarantees on labels.

The inspection fees assessed to fertilizer and soil conditioner manufacturers and distributors in Michigan are based on the quantity of fertilizer distributed, rather than the number of products in a company's line. Annually, every licensee must pay the Department an inspection fee. The fee is levied on each ton of fertilizer manufactured or distributed in this state. The inspection fee and statement of fertilizers and soil conditioners manufactured or distributed in Michigan must be reported on forms provided by MDARD.  

In response to popular demand, MDARD is now providing the fertilizer industry with a new Electronic Fertilizer Tonnage Reporting form in Excel spreadsheet format. When completed properly, this new form will automatically calculate the total quantity of fertilizers and soil conditioners manufactured and/or distributed by your company in Michigan, as well as the appropriate inspection and water quality fees.  


Tonnage fees do not need to be paid on:

  • Specialty fertilizer or soil conditioner products sold or distributed only in packages of 10 pounds or less;
  • Fertilizer materials that are used as ingredients for the further manufacture of fertilizers on which a tonnage fee is to be paid;
  • A fertilizer if payment was made by the previous manufacturer/distributor. NOTE: The previous manufacturer/distributor must attach to the report form a listing of the companies reporting and paying tonnage on their behalf.

Tonnage and Water Quality Fees

  • Fertilizer inspection (tonnage) fee is $0.35/ton.
  • The water quality (previously called groundwater) protection fee on agricultural use fertilizer is $1.00/ton on all agricultural use fertilizer.
  • Total tonnage fees = $0.35/ton non-agriculture and $1.35/ton agriculture use fertilizer.
  • Licensing and registration fees did not change.

Filing Deadlines

  • To avoid late filing fees, the report form with payment must be postmarked by January 31. Licensees and registrants who have not received their semiannual reporting form by January 15 should immediately contact MDARD at 1-800-292-3939. Completion and return of the fee payment report is required even if the licensee or registrant incurs no inspection fees.

Penalty for Late Reports/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.