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Scott’s Proposal for Phosphorous Reduction in Fertilizers Prepared by Heidi Bonnaffon WRTC Meeting May 11, 2006 Background The Chesapeake Bay Program’s Nutrient Subcommittee (NSC), Businesses for the Bay, and the CSREES/Land Grant University Mid Atlantic Water Quality Program (MAWQP) have worked with Scotts for ~ 2 years to reduce nutrient loss from “do it yourself” (DIY) lawn fertilizer application. Background on Fertilizer Loads Urban nonpoint sources and account for ~1/4 phosphorus reaching the Bay ~1/8 nitrogen reaching the Bay Retrofitting urban storm water is costly and new growth is increasing urban loads Targeting fertilizers may be the most efficient way to address urban non-point pollution. Home Lawn Care Number of Home Lawns (millions) Millions of Home Lawns 40 40 50% Do Nothing 30 20 18 10 10 10 1 1 None 1 2 3 4 Lawn - - - D.I.Y. Applications Per Year - - - Service Home Lawn Care – 2 Total Number of Applications (millions) 25 Millions of Applications 20 20 18 15 10 5 3 4 0 None 1 2 3 4 - - - D.I.Y. Applications Per Year - - - National Bag Sales: 35 million Avg. # Applications: 1.8 per year Unit Sales by State: Maryland --- 1 million bags Virginia --- 0.9 million bags Chesapeake Bay Watershed Fertilizer Sales Scotts Lawns % Sales in Nitrogen* Phosphorus** State Fertilizer Sold CB Watershed Millions of Pounds Millions of Pounds Millions of Pounds Pennsylvania 47.16 50 6.84 0.71 Maryland 22.67 100 6.57 0.68 Virginia 19.90 100 5.77 0.60 New York 33.22 10 0.96 0.10 Delaware 2.95 50 0.43 0.04 West Virginia 2.20 5 0.03 0.00 District of Columbia 0.06 100 0.02 0.00 Total 128.16 20.62 2.13 * 29% average nitrogen concentration in fertilizers sold. ** 3% average phosphorus (P2O5) concentration in fertilizers sold. Scotts Proposal The Scotts Miracle Gro Co. has discussed with the CBP plans to reduce the P in its commercial lawn products 50% by 2009. Scotts expects other major fertilizer companies to change their formulas as a result of market pressure. Over time, Scotts plans to address N reduction in their fertilizers. Could equate ~1 million Ibs/year P reduction in lawn applications in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. NSC Recommendations to Principal Staff Committee Chesapeake Bay Program should enter into an agreement with the “Do It Yourself” (DIY) lawn fertilizer industry, led by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, to: 1. endorse a 50% reduction in phosphorus in their bagged DIY fertilizer lines 2. initiate discussions on nitrogen content and form in DIY lawn fertilizers 3. work with the DIY lawn fertilizer industry and major retail outlets to educate the public at the point of sale on proper methods of fertilizer application. Next Steps for CBP Charge the Implementation Committee, through a cooperative effort of the NSC, B4B, MAWQP and Scotts/RISE, with drafting the proposed agreement and the point of sale education program. Campaign will be unveiled at the Executive Council Meeting, with roll out at retail outlets Spring 2007. It is further recommended that The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company be recognized at the Executive Council for their proactive leadership in this effort. Potential Roles for COG The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is also interested in ways to partner with local governments. Representatives of Scott’s will brief COG’s Chesapeake Bay Policy Committee at its May 19 meeting. Recommended Actions for CBPC Sign an agreement between industry and COG member governments pledging to work together to minimize potential for pollution. Local governments could conduct outreach/education that Scotts and the rest of the commercial lawn care industry have researched and are advocating. NVRC Radio ad campaign vehicle or individually by local governments. Recommended Actions for CBPC Demonstrate the use of reduced P fertilizers on county- owned or city-owned properties, and possibly other lawns with high-visibility. As part of demonstration projects or other activities, conduct research into the water quality impacts of following innovative lawn care practices. Universities with demo plots showing lawn care and nutrient reduction results of lower P (lower N) Potentially arrange industry training courses for county and city employees (or their contractors) on how to correctly apply fertilizers. Others? Comments…. Questions?
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