Hey, W.Va. farmers, is that lime what the label says? Get free testing

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CHARLESTON, W. Va. — The West Virginia Department of Agriculture encourages buyers of bulk fertilizer and lime to have their deliveries tested to ensure the product meets the guaranteed analysis on the label.

If the delivery doesn’t meet the label guarantee, state law allows the manufacturer to be assessed a penalty.

“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 Herma Johnson said the department is particularly looking for farmers who have lime or fertilizer delivered directly to their farms.

“Although we sample and test retail products in stores, all penalties are paid to the department unless the retail facility is able to determine who purchased that particular product,” Johnson said. “When a bulk delivery is made to a farm, the purchaser is entitled to the penalty if a deficiency is detected.”

Before it’s unloaded

She added that WVDA inspectors must be on hand at the time of delivery, so that they can pull samples directly from the truck before it is unloaded. Only samples collected by the department’s inspectors are considered official samples. She also noted that any consumer can call the WVDA for assistance if they think they have been sold deficient seed, feed, lime or fertilizer.

For more information, call WVDA-READ at 304-558-2227.

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