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Serving: WI

Fertilizer and Pesticide Buyers May Save Money

Check with dealer to see what rate was charged.

Purchasers of commercial fertilizer and pesticides may see some extra money in their pockets because of recent reductions in fertilizer tonnage and pesticide fees, according to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

The recently passed Wisconsin state budget reduced fertilizer and pesticide-related surcharges. The surcharges are part of the total fertilizer tonnage and pesticide fees. Because the surcharges went down, so did the fertilizer tonnage and pesticide fees consumers pay.

"While the good news is lower fees, the bad news is the timing of the budget and the timing of the tonnage and pesticide assessments don't match up very well," says Lori Bowman, agrichemical management bureau director with the Wisconsin DATCP.

"Fertilizer dealers and distributors are assessed tonnage fees based on the law that is in effect at the time. Consumers purchasing fertilizer after July 1 paid the higher fees because that was what the law required then," Bowman says. "When the budget was signed in October 2007, the reductions in tonnage fees were retroactive back to July 1, 2007."

The department advises those who purchased fertilizer after July 1, 2007, should check with their dealer to determine what tonnage rate was charged.

"If you purchased commercial fertilizer and were charged $1.25 per ton instead of the new lower rate of $1.06 per ton, you should discuss how to handle any overpayment with your dealer," Bowman said.
As of Oct. 1, 2007, pesticide fees also were reduced to 0.95% of gross sales. For pesticides purchased after October 1, contact your dealer to ensure the correct fees were assessed and to discuss the handling of any overpayment.

DATCP will also notify fertilizer dealers and distributors, and pesticide manufacturers and distributors, encouraging them to work with their customers to determine how to best handle the adjustments in fertilizer tonnage and pesticide fees.

The Wisconsin Legislature lowered the surcharges to reduce the revenues in the Agricultural Chemical Cleanup Program fund. The Legislature expects a fund reduction of more than $1.75 million over the next two years.

"As you purchase fertilizer or pesticides for spring, make sure you're being charged the correct fees," Bowman says. "Contact your fertilizer dealer or distributor to see if you paid the higher surcharges on fertilizer purchased after July 1, 2007 or on pesticides purchased after Oct. 1, 2007."

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