Wisconsin Bans Phophorus In Lawn Fertilizer To Protect Drinking Water And Tourism Industry


Blue-green algae scum. Image credit:Washington State Dept. of Ecology.

Lawn grass only needs phosphorus to establish a root structure - one growing season. An established lawn needs virtually no phosphorus in the nitrogen/phosphorus/potash blend. Recognizing the need to protect Wisconsin's lakes and rivers, which support a large and economically important tourism industry, and which provide drinking water for a large portion of Wisconsin's residents, the State no longer allows sale of phosphorus-containing lawn products intended for maintenance (recurring) application. There are exemptions for starting up a new lawn, gardening, and so on, but the bottom line is that retailers and producers are going need to stock no-phosphorus lawn care products. Manufacturers & retailers will bear the expense of holding more product types: a small price to pay for avoiding the spread of stinky, toxic algae blooms that foul drinking water, lower property values (as pictured) and lower oxygen levels below what a high quality fishery requires.

The Appleton Post Crescent calls the ban a "Turf Battle" in it's story Phosphorus lawn fertilizer ban begins Thursday. Call it what you like, this is regulation that every state ought to follow. Phosphorus, after all, is a limited mineral resource that should be used for agricultural applications and not wasted on lawns, or detergents for that matter.

Please don't post a comment about 'unnecessary government intervention in our lives' until you look over these related posts and look into how important water quality is to Wisconsin.

Important related posts.
Are We Near Peak Phosphorus?
Future Food Production Could Be Severely Constrained by a Lack of Phosphorus

Tags: Fertilizer | Wisconsin