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Fertilizer Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is required to obtain an Illinois Fertilizer License Application?

  • Any person/company whose name appears on the label of a product must obtain an Illinois Fertilizer License.
  • Fertilizer License Application
  • The fee for an Illinois Fertilizer License is
    • $100.00 for the main location
    • $50.00 for secondary sites

**Lawn care applicators for hire are exempt from licensing. **

2. If I have more than one manufacturing or distribution site in Illinois, do I need to license all of them?

  • Yes, if fertilizer product is being stored at these facilities and/or custom blends are being manufactured at these facilities and operating under the same name. 

3. Which fertilizer products are required to be registered with the Illinois Department of Agriculture?

  • Application For Registration
  • All fertilizer products that are manufactured and/or distributed in Illinois are required to be registered.
  • Custom Blend formulas are not required to be registered with IDOA. The products used to create the custom blend are required to be registered (i.e. 0-0-60, 18-46-0).
  • Companies are not required to register a product that has already been registered by another company.
    • If a company repackages or relabels a product then it must be registered as a new product with the IDOA under that company’s name. Companies that distribute bulk fertilizer and whose name appears on the label (i.e. bill of lading, delivery ticket, invoice) must register that product.

4. What is the registration fee for fertilizer products?

  • The registration fee for all fertilizer products is $20.00 per product.
    • Please see below for inspection fees due upon registration for small package fertilizer products.

5. Who is required to enter monthly tonnage?

  •  Anyone that distributes to a consumer or an end user is required to report the distribution on a monthly basis.  This report is due on the 10th of the following reporting month.  Please report 0 tonnage for products registered to your company if no distribution occurred.

6. What is a Soil Amendment?

  • “Soil Amendment" means any substance or material about which it is claimed that it will and is intended to improve the characteristics of the soil or otherwise affect soil and therefore is claimed to enhance crop production capacity or increase crop yield.
    • There is a $250.00 non-refundable registration fee for Soil Amendments.
    • If there are any guarantees of AAPFCO recognized nutrients then the product must also be registered as a fertilizer. This will incur the $20.00 fertilizer product registration fee in addition to the Soil Amendment fee.
    • If the Soil Amendment is also registered as a fertilizer then it is subject to be reported as both on the Semi-Annual Fertilizer Report.

7. Why am I not able to license my company as a dba or c/o?

  • The Illinois Fertilizer License must reflect the manufacturing and/or distributing company name and address as it appears on the label. 

8. What is the Semi-Annual Tonnage Report?

  • The Semi-Annual Tonnage Report is generated by the Bureau of API and made available to all licensed fertilizer companies that sell bulk fertilizer in packages over 5 lbs or more than 4,000 cubic centimeters.  The final licensee/registrant that sells to the end user (see definition of end user below) is responsible for reporting this amount of fertilizer distributed in Illinois and is responsible for the inspection fee.
  • This fee is $.25 per ton of product sold or a minimum of $15.00.
    • Small package fertilizer products are not included in this fee.  See below.

**Please note that the Illinois Fertilizer Act requires an additional fee of $.75 per ton to be paid to the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council. An invoice will be sent to each reporting company after the inspection fee has been fulfilled to IDOA.  For more information on this please contact Julie Armstrong, Executive Director at 309-212-0047 or**


  • Custom blends are exempt from the inspection fee if the inspection fee has been paid on the products which they contain.
  • Illinois Fertilizer Tonnage Reports are due by July 30th of the first reporting period (January 1 – June 30) and January 30th of the second reporting period (July 1 – December 31).  The late fee is 15% of the inspection fee or $15.00, whichever is greater, in addition to the amount due for the inspection fee.

9. What is the inspection fee for fertilizer products packaged in containers of 5 lbs. or less/4,000 cubic centimeters or less if in liquid form?

  • The inspection fee for fertilizer products packaged in containers of 5 lbs. or less/4,000 cubic centimeters or less if in liquid form is $50.00 for each product that is registered with IDOA.  This fee is due upon registration of the product(s).
    • The $50.00 inspection fee is due annually upon renewal of each product.
    • These products are not subject to the Illinois Fertilizer Semi-Annual Inspection fee but must be reported both monthly and semi-annually.
    • Soil Amendments are not subject to the inspection fee due on the Semi-Annual Tonnage Report.  The tonnage for soil amendments must be reported.

10. How do I obtain a Certificate of Free Sale for Commercial Fertilizer?

  • To be eligible to obtain a Certificate of Free Sale from IDOA, the product must be registered with IDO​A and either manufactured in Illinois or the company’s primary site located in Illinois.
  • An application must be completed and returned with a label for each product that is to be listed on the Certificate.  The labels are compared with those on file from registration prior to the Certificate being issued.  Below is the link to the required application.
  • Fertilizer Certificate of Free Sale (An application must be submitted for each Certificate that is requested.)
  • The fee for a Certificate of Free Sale is $20.00 per certificate.
  • More than 1 product can be listed on the Certificate without an increase in the fee.

"Consumer or end user" means the final purchaser prior to application.


  • The final registrant of the fertilizer product distributed will be responsible for payment of the inspection fee of the amount distributed and reported on the Semi-Annual Tonnage Report.