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ODA Hosts International Fertilizer Officials
During the first week of August, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) Fertilizer Program hosted the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Plant Control Officials (AAPFCO) in Portland, Oregon. AAPFCO’s Annual Meeting brings together fertilizer control officials to discuss administering fertilizer laws and regulations, and issues concerning fertilizer materials, mixing, and effects. The meeting is also attended by a number of industry liaisons who add their own perspectives to the discussions. The August meeting had 109 attendees, including 66 industry representatives and 45 plant food control officials from 37 states and Canada. Topics discussed involved everything from acceptable terms and definitions, to the laboratory methods used to ensure fertilizer products meet their guarantees.

The day following the Annual Meeting a number of participants attended a professional tour, arranged by ODA fertilizer staff showcasing Oregon’s achievements in managing nutrients in the environment. Included in the tour was a visit to Clean Water Service’s Wastewater Treatment Facility where Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies, Inc. extracts phosphorous from wastewater to create a slow release fertilizer. This process turns a potential problem—keeping nutrients out of Oregon’s rivers and lakes—into a marketable product.

The next stop on the tour was a trip to Fisher Farms, a production nursery, in Gaston, Oregon. Fisher uses a number of technologies to keep nutrients where they belong, and reuse water that may contain potentially lost nutrients. Attendees were impressed by both Oregon’s diverse agricultural areas and its amazing summertime weather. Next year’s AAPFCO Annual Meeting will be in Texas.