Soil Amendment

This area of our program is governed by the Kansas Soil Amendment Act.

The Kansas Soil Amendment Act (KSA 2-2801 et. seq.) requires registration and proof of efficacy for any substance which is intended to improve physical, chemical or other characteristics of the soil, or improve crop production. Exempted from the act are commercial fertilizers; agricultural liming materials, including ground and slaked lime; unmanipulated animal manures; vegetable compost; and pesticides.

Soil Amendment Guidelines

Soil Amendment Product Registration Application

Each soil amendment product must be registered with the Department of Agriculture before distribution in this state. Application for registration shall be submitted on a KDA form to show the required label information as provided in K.S.A. 1981 Supp. 2-2804, except net weight of product.

The registration fee is fixed by rules and regulations adopted by the Kansas Department of Agriculture at $100 for each product. All registrations expire on December 31 of the year in which the product is registered. Along with the application for registration, the applicant must submit a copy of the label and all advertisements, brochures, posters and television and radio announcements to be used in promoting the sale of the soil amendment.

Proof of Efficacy Data and Guidelines for Considering Soil Amendments for Registration
Guidelines Must be Followed Exactly

  • Submit research data only (no testimonials) from such groups as land grant universities, USDA and other reputable research organizations.
  • Research must be conducted on at least three soil types common to Kansas, with two years of data submitted for each location. At least one location should be in Kansas.
  • Active ingredients of a product must be listed in the Chemical Abstracts section of the latest edition of the Merck Index. (Coined chemical names are not acceptable.)
  • Research data submitted must be for crops commonly grown in Kansas.
  • Submit analytical standards for active ingredients.
  • Research must be presented in the following format:
    • Title page, including:
      • 1. The product tested and the crop with plant or nutrient response being measured.
      • 2. Dates and locations of trials.
      • 3. The financial link, if any, between the investigating agency and the product company.
      • 4. Investigators’ names and credentials.
    • Introduction, including:
      • 1. Identification of each product claim (use the exact wording that appears on the product label).
      • 2. A brief statement about the nature and use of this product.
    • Materials and Methods, including:
      • 1. A minimum characterization of the experimental sites, with soil texture, soil classification, soil reaction, (ph), soil organic matter and previous crop.
      • 2. A description of the pertinent details of the research procedure (i.e. planting date and rate, variety/hybrid, weed control method, tillage operations, fertilizer rate, method of application and source, etc).
      • 3. The layout and design of the experiment should be given in enough detail for the reviewer to ascertain that treatment border effects were eliminated and plots were of sufficient size to assure unbiased samples. An experimental design procedure source such as "Agricultural Experimental Design and Analysis" by Little and Hill, published by John Wiley & Sons, New York ,should be consulted.
      • 4. Treatments should include: a control of untreated area without any fertilizer or product application; the product at the rate and method of application specified on the label; the product at the rate and method of application specified on the label with fertilizer recommended if different than treatment; the fertilizer alone recommended in treatment c; and other treatments as needed to verify claims.
      • 5. The treatments should be randomly assigned to individual plots and at least three replications should be used.
    • Results and Discussion, including:
      • 1. Data presented in standard English units in tables or figures with appropriate statistical analysis. A significance level of 10% or less should be used.
      • 2. Discussion of the data should be in lay terms whenever possible.
    • Conclusions, including:
      • 1. Results summarized and discussed as to their proof of product effectiveness claims and literature cited.
    • Literature Cited should list references as suggested in a handbook and style manual for scientific publications.

Cooperative Agreement
Upon receipt of a registration request with accompanying data and other required information, the Kansas Department of Agriculture will forward a complete set of the information to Kansas State University’s College of Agriculture Agronomy Department for review and evaluation. The director of agronomy shall, at his or her discretion, make appropriate assignments either by department, committee assignment, research, or as necessary, to allow appropriate recommendations to be made to KDA regarding the proof of efficacy on each soil amendment product.

It is the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s responsibility to accept or reject an application, based on the Kansas Soil Amendment Act, professional judgment and the recommendations of Kansas State University.

Appeals or Hearings
If the applicant disagrees with the action taken by KDA, he or she may request a hearing for the product in question. Representatives of the department and the applicant will be invited to participate in an informal hearing. Other participants may be invited at the discretion of the Secretary of Agriculture as needed to render a scientific, professional or legal decision. Failure to reach an understanding will not prevent either party from seeking legal recourse.