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Virginia’s Regulations for the Application of Fertilizer to Nonagricultural Lands require certification for all licensees and contractor-applicators, state agencies, localities or other governmental entities engaged in the commercial application of fertilizers to non-agricultural lands. Anyone desiring certification as a Certified Fertilizer Applicator (CFA) must successfully complete approved training and submit an online application to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. CFA certification is valid for four years from the date of issuance. Certified fertilizer applicators shall complete a minimum of two hours of coursework every two years for recertification.

Applicators who apply fertilizer to more than 50 acres of non-agricultural land must submit an annual report on or before February 1 indicating, by zip code, the total acreage of land receiving lawn fertilizer and lawn maintenance fertilizer in the preceding calendar year.

For current information about certified fertilizer applicators, please contact Victoria Lawrence at victoria.lawrence@vdacs.virginia.gov.


Upcoming CFA recertification courses
  • On-Demand CFA certification and recertification courses
  • CFA Online Certification Course ($30.00): This course provides the necessary initial training to become a Certified Fertilizer Applicator in the state of Virginia.  The course contents include fertilizer characteristics, record keeping, calibration, soils, and environmental considerations.  (#VDACS_CFA_INITIAL1)

  • CFA Online Recertification Course (Two Hour Program: $30.00):  These 4 separate courses provide the necessary training for CFA recertification. You must acquire 2 hours of training every two years (4 hours total) during your 4 year certification period to renew your certification. The course contents include fertilizer characteristics, safety, weed ID, soils, turf species, and landscape ornamentals. 

    1. CFA Program 1 (Course # VDACS_RECERT_CFA1) – Soils & Pesticide Safety
    2. CFA Program 2 (Course # VDACS_RECERT_CFA2) – Soils & Weed ID & Herbicides
    3. CFA Program 3 (Course # VDACS_RECERT_CFA3) – Soils & Landscape Ornamentals
    4. CFA Program 4 (Course # VDACS_RECERT_CFA4) – Soils & Turf grass Species
    For further information contact:  Aaron Mackie (251.583.5972) 
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    5400 Holiday Drive
    Frederick, MD 21701
    Thursday December 14th, 2023
    $35 Registration Fee / Register Online
    Questions: 240.554.0359
  • Green Industry Professional Seminar
    Pesticide and Fertilizer Application Recertification
    Ernst Community Cultural Center
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    Annandale, VA 22003
    Friday, February 2, 2024


The following individuals are exempt from certification under this regulation:
  • Individuals conducting research in laboratories or field test plots involving fertilizers.
  • Individuals who use fertilizer or supervise the use of fertilizer as part of their duties only on nonagricultural land owned or leased by their employers. This exemption does not apply to public sector applicators.
  • Individuals holding turf and landscape certification from the Department of Conservation and Recreation as nutrient management planners.

Reporting Requirements

The Virginia Fertilizer Law requires contractor-applicators, state agencies, localities and other governmental entities to report to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services the annual acreage or square footage of fertilizer applied to nonagricultural (lawn and turf) lands.

See Frequently Asked Questions about the Agricultural Commodity Inspection Program.

Click here for Office of Plant Industry Services contact information.

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