After several workshops and a rule challenge by the Sierra Club, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) is now finalizing its revisions to the Urban Turf Rule, found in r. 5E-1003 F.A.C. The Urban Turf Rule regulates what can be sold and marketed as a specialty fertilizer for turf and lawn, limiting nutrient levels and requiring specific application information on each fertilizer bag.
The proposed revisions would:
- Add a definition for "actively growing" turf (that which requires biweekly mowing)
- Replace the existing recommended nitrogen table with a new table with spring/summer and fall/winter categories, and provide that application should only be on "actively growing" turf
- Delete the limit of 1 lb/1000 sq.ft. at any one time and replace it with a limit of 2 lbs/1000 sq.ft. during the spring, provided that no more that 35% is released in the first seven days
- Require labels to provide "minimum" coverage area instead of "maximum" coverage area.
- Update the published versions of BMPs for Golf Courses and Protection of Water Resources
The revisions should not affect the enforcement of local ordinances. According to DACS, “minor changes” are expected before the rule is finalized, and a statement regarding compliance with local regulations is being considered.
For more information, contact Weldon Collier, DACS Program Coordinator, at (850) 617-7907.