Nitrogen and Phosphorus are two nutrients which have the potential to cause environmental degradation of our natural resources, primarily water.  Nitrogen and Phosphorus are also important plant nutrients contained in many fertilizers; to minimize the potential negative impact of these nutrients from fertilizers, local and statewide nutrient management regulations have been and are being developed.

Chapter 262 of the Acts of 2012 authorized the enactment of a new statewide nutrient management regulation by the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture (MDAR).  As part of the legislation specific communities were given the opportunity to adopt their own regulations.  The local regulations cannot be less restrictive than the state regulation.  The Cape Cod Commission through designation of a District of Critical Planning Concern allowed towns to adopt local nitrogen regulations for turf.  Those towns that did not adopt local ordinances will fall under state regulation. The regulations for non-agricultural turf and lawns became effective on June 5, 2015. The regulations for agricultural land became effective on December 5, 2015.

Statewide Nutrient Management Regulations
http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/agr/pesticides/plant-nutrient-management.html
Summary Of Local Regulations
The regulations below apply to anyone who applies fertilizer to turf. Click here for printable version for summary of towns.
Certification
The towns of Barnstable and Chatham adopted regulations that include standards for non-certified and certified applicators.  Certified applicators are permitted to apply fertilizers in accordance with the UMass Best Management Practices for Soil & Nutrient Management in Turf Systems, and not the more restrictive town performance standards.

Cape Cod Cooperative Extension will be offering opportunities for fertilizer applicators to become certified. Fertilizers applicators may become certified by passing a proficiency assessment test or by verifying that you meet specific criteria developed by the Cape Cod Commission’s Content and Application of Turf Fertilizer Model Bylaw.  Landscape professionals and homeowners may become Certified Fertilizer Applicators.

Click here for Proficiency Criteria

Click here for Best Management Practices
http://ag.umass.edu/turf/publications-resources/best-management-practices

Nutrient Management Information
http://ag.umass.edu/turf/publications-resources/nutrient-management-information

Fertilizer Exam
Please have phone number (not a company phone number) and email address prior to beginning exam.

Individuals are allowed only 1 submission based on phone number and email address.

Results will be provided in 1-3 business days.

Please contact office at #508-375-6638 or cstpierre@barnstablecounty.org if you need to retake exam.

Click here for Fertilizer Exam 

Resources
Find a Certified Fertilizer Applicator here (coming soon)
Cape Cod Good Lawn Care Practices
Turf Fact Sheets 
UMass Turf Program
MDAR
Cape Cod Commission

 HORTICULTURE CLINIC HOURS

April thru SeptemberMon - Wed - Fri  9:00am to 3:00pm

March and October: Tues & Thur 9:00am to 3:00pm

The Cape Cod Cooperative Extension Horticulture Clinic will now be accepting soil samples for soil pH testing during the covid-19 emergency period.  Soil samples must be sent by mail and must include this form Please make sure the form is mailed with the samples and filled out completely with a legible email address and crop designated for each sample.  During the covid-19 emergency the $2/sample fee will temporarily be waived with a maximum of 5 samples allowed per household.  For more extensive testing including nutrients and fertilizer recommendations – use the UMass Soil Testing Lab.  Instructions on how to take a soil sample.

Mail to:
Cape Cod Cooperative Extension
Soil Test
PO Box 367
Barnstable, MA 02630

Submit a question on-line
call: 508.375.6700
email: gardeners@barnstablecounty.org