Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Controversial Fertilizer Study Heating Up

In an effort to reduce stormwater runoff pollution in water bodies, fertilizing ordinances were passed by Florida cities in 2009. This fertilizer ban prohibited applications on lawns during the summer citing that lawns did not need additional nitrogen and phosphorus. Nitrogen and phosphorus increase the TDML's (total maximum daily loads) of water bodies. Controversy grew as the University of Florida published a study that said the ordinances would have unintended consequences, such as contributing to more stormwater runoff as homeowners and companies would use more fertilizer during other seasons.
Titled "Unintended Consequences Associated with Certain Urban Fertilizer Ordinance," the study was published in March 2009 amid virulent debate at the Capitol -- and at the request of industry lobbyists.

Though critics have been loud in their indictment of the study, which the institute acknowledges was funded by the fertilizer industry, it has been used at government meetings statewide to slow regulation.

Now Sarasota County, which in 2007 enacted the first strict fertilizer ordinance in Florida, has taken aim at the IFAS study.

"It's tobacco science," said County Commissioner Jon Thaxton, who is leading the way at the county to compel researchers to release documents associated with the study.

Now for the first time in its history, the University of Florida has pulled the contentious study, citing that they are going to publish more thorough research backed by more evidence. It will be interesting to see what happens and who gets the green - fertilizer companies or cities working to lower their TMDL's?

Fertilizing correctly is the best solution. If homeowners would only learn how to apply the right fertilizer analysis in the right amounts at the right time of year, we would have healthier landscapes, less pest and disease problems, and cleaner water bodies.

Its not the correct time of the year now for fertilizing, but save this University of Florida page for the springtime. Make sure you understand the best management practices to take care of your lawn.

1 comment:

  1. HAHAHA what nonsense.I wonder how those authority lawns look without nitrogen and phosphorus.Listen these guys have an agenda and are willing to pull sh** out their asses to feed us.