Decado
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Another Big LOL At My City's Laws

I just found out today that you are not allowed to use any kind of phosphate in fertilizer, synthetic or organic, except on first year lawns (which if I'm correct really isn't necessary, nitrogen is, right?). This is completely ridiculous because there's phosphate decomposing into the ground all over the place by natural means, and isn't it nitrates that are mainly hurting the environment? They allow you to use all the nitrates you want...

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rainbowgardener
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very odd.... I was thinking maybe it was to prevent people making explosives, but I checked and it is the nitrates that are used for that..

cynthia_h
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The no-phosphorus-fertilizer rule is for the entire State of Minnesota. I ran into it while researching something else maybe a year ago.

It had to do with excess phosphorus in groundwater and rivers/creeks/lakes in Minnesota. The state needed to help preserve groundwater quality (we do drink it, bathe in it, and irrigate our plants), so phosphorus was OUT.

But if there's so much of it already in the water, maybe it's not a loss for the plants?

Wish I could remember where I saw the restriction. My best suggestion to start researching it would be U. Minn. Agricultural Extension.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

Decado
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If this is the case then how can they legally sell fertilizers with phosphate in MN?

cynthia_h
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From the State of Minnesota Department of Agriculture:

https://www.mda.state.mn.us/protecting/waterprotection/phoslaw.htm

informational page on the "phosphorus law."

I haven't read all the details; the subject I was researching last fall didn't require it. But for gardeners/market gardeners in Minnesota, it might be essential knowledge. I just don't know.

Best wishes for a happy garden!

Cynthia

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Morning Light
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Link Re: MN law

Here is a link to a Power Point presentation on the Minnesota phosphorus law that gives a nice overview of the issue.

[url]https://www.cleanwatermn.org/app_themes/cleanwater/ppts/MNPhosphorusLaw.ppt[/url]

More places in the future will probably have such laws because of federal requirements for water that runs off properties into the storm sewer system. More U.S. communities are being required to get NPDES permits which regulate the quality of water that can be sent directly into lakes, streams, and rivers. (Storm water runoff does not go to a treatment plant like sewage does).

In the long run, obviously, this is good for the environment. In the short run it will be costly for cities and states to comply with the water quality requirements; more regulation of fertilizer and other potentially polluting compounds (including soil disturbed by construction) will probably occur.

One benefit might be that more people will become thoughtful users of fertilizer. Hopefully, it will also mean that more will compost, more will seek out organic fertilizers, and more will turn lawn into native plantings and gardens that help "Retain the Rain".

Emma
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"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous." -- Aristotle

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Sage Hermit
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:shock: MN ihoney is the best honey in the world.
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

MysticGardener67
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I haven't read the law yet but did a bit of googling

on enviromental impact of phosphates

Phosphate will stimulate the growth of plankton and aquatic plants which provide food for larger organisms, including: zooplankton, fish, humans, and other mammals. Plankton represent the base of the food chain. Initially, this increased productivity will cause an increase in the fish population and overall biological diversity of the system. But as the phosphate loading continues and there is a build-up of phosphate in the lake or surfacewater ecosystem, the aging process of lake or surface water ecosystem will be accelerated. The overproduction of lake or water body can lead to an imbalance in the nutrient and material cycling process (Ricklefs, 1993). Eutrophication (from the Greek - meaning "well nourished") is enhanced production of primary producers resulting in reduced stability of the ecosystem. Excessive nutrient inputs, usually nitrogen and phosphate, have been shown to be the main cause of eutrophication over the past 30 years. This aging process can result in large fluctuations in the lake water quality and trophic status and in some cases periodic blooms of cyanobacteria.

--- exerpted from https://www.water-research.net/phosphate.htm

I would say that because MN is the 'land of a thousand lakes', politicains and enviromentalists are hypersenstive about the conditions of thier lakes.

I will stand by my semi-organic stance that it is the over application of inorganic ferts and chems that have brought this issue to the forefront of MN politics, but I do not think that this is the only suspect.

How many of us are guilty of washing thier cars in the driveway and allow the run off to flow into the storm drains? Okay maybe fewer in this particular group then the general population ;) Point being that even though overapplication of chemical ferts my be the primary reason for the MN law, There are just as many other sources that are not AG related.

Does make a solid point for composting. Everything coming out of the land is going straight back in.

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