The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

April 27, 2013

Agriculture department offers free bulk fertilizer, lime testing

— The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) is encouraging buyers of bulk fertilizer and lime to have their deliveries tested to ensure the product meets the guaranteed analysis on the label.

If the product delivered doesn’t meet the label requirements, state law allows purchasers to collect a penalty which the state assesses to the manufacturer.

“A buyer has no way of knowing for certain if agricultural materials are up to specifications,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick. “It takes specialized laboratories to make that determination. We offer these services free of charge because we want buyers to get what they’re entitled to under the law.”

WVDA Regulatory and Environmental Affairs Director (READ) Herma Johnson said the WVDA is particularly looking for farmers who have lime or fertilizer delivered directly to their farms.

Johnson added that WVDA regulatory officers must be on hand at the time of delivery, so they can pull samples. Otherwise it would be impossible to legally prove the source of the materials. Only samples collected by WVDA regulatory officers are considered official samples and the officers need at least two or three days’ notice.

Johnson also noted that any consumer can call the WVDA for assistance if they believe they have been sold deficient seed, feed, lime or fertilizer. For more information, contact the WVDA Regulatory and Environmental Affairs Division at 304-558-2227.

Contact WVDA Communications Officer Buddy Davidson at 304-541-5932 or by e-mail,, for more information.