Code Section Group

Food and Agricultural Code - FAC


  ( Division 7 enacted by Stats. 1967, Ch. 15. )

CHAPTER 5. Fertilizing Materials [14501 - 14682]

  ( Chapter 5 repealed and added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 504, Sec. 2. )

ARTICLE 9. Inspection, Sampling, and Analysis [14641 - 14650]
  ( Article 9 added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 504, Sec. 2. )


The secretary shall have free access at reasonable times to all records, premises, production processes, or conveyances that are used in the manufacture, transportation, importation, distribution, storage, or application of any fertilizing material.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 257, Sec. 14. (AB 856) Effective January 1, 2010.)


The secretary shall, at the times and to the extent necessary for the enforcement of this chapter, do all of the following:

(a) Take samples of any substance.

(b) Make analyses or examinations of any substance.

(c) Conduct investigations concerning the use, sale, adulteration, or misbranding of any substance.

(d) Inspect the fertilizing material manufacturing facilities and take samples at various stages of production to verify label and labeling claims and production processes.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 257, Sec. 15. (AB 856) Effective January 1, 2010.)


In determining the percentage of component parts of any substance for the purpose of proper labeling, registration, or determining compliance with representations, all analyses shall be made according to a method determined by the secretary.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 490, Sec. 21. Effective January 1, 2006.)


The secretary shall publish, at least annually, the results of examinations or chemical analyses of official samples of commercial fertilizer and agricultural minerals, and any additional information the secretary deems necessary.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 490, Sec. 22. Effective January 1, 2006.)


The secretary may take a sample for analysis from any lot of fertilizing material which is in the possession of any producer, manufacturer, importer, agent, dealer, or user. The sample shall be taken pursuant to regulations adopted by the secretary.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 490, Sec. 23. Effective January 1, 2006.)


The secretary shall establish sampling procedures by regulation.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 490, Sec. 24. Effective January 1, 2006.)


Upon the analysis of a sample of fertilizing material, the secretary shall issue a report showing the findings and indicating that the product has met the guarantee or was found to be deficient. However, the secretary, in determining whether any product is deficient in guarantee or misrepresented, may establish, by regulation, tolerances that provide allowances for variations that occur in the taking, preparation, and analysis of an official sample.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 490, Sec. 25. Effective January 1, 2006.)


In any action, civil or criminal, in any court in this state, a laboratory report from the secretary which states the results of any analysis, reported to be made pursuant to this chapter, shall be prima facie evidence of all of the following:

(a) That the sample which is described in the laboratory report was properly analyzed.

(b) That the sample was taken pursuant to this chapter.

(c) That the substances analyzed contained the component parts which are stated in the laboratory report.

(d) That the sample was taken from the lots, parcels, or packages which are described in the laboratory report.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 490, Sec. 26. Effective January 1, 2006.)


(a) It is unlawful for the owner of a plant, crop, or commodity to knowingly treat or apply to that plant, crop, or commodity, or cause that plant, crop, or commodity to be treated or applied, with a fertilizer that was stolen or otherwise acquired by illegal means.

(b) The owner of a crop, who is found by a court to have violated this section, in addition to any other penalties imposed by a court, is subject to a fine of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) plus an amount equal to one-half the value of the crop on which the illegally obtained fertilizer was applied.

(c) For purposes of this section, “one-half the value of the crop” means one-half the market value of the crop that was actually treated with the illegally obtained fertilizer as determined by the actual sale of the crop or, if the crop is not actually sold, as determined by the secretary based on an average of the typical market value for such a crop sold in the normal channels of trade in the year in which the crop was produced and in the preceding two years.

(d) Moneys received as a result of fines and penalties imposed pursuant to this section shall be divided and distributed as follows:

(1) Fifty percent to the county in which the case was brought to court or in which a court-approved settlement of the matter was negotiated.

(2) Twenty-five percent to the office of the county agricultural commissioner.

(3) Twenty-five percent to the department.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 92, Sec. 75. (SB 1289) Effective January 1, 2019.)


(a) Any person who is licensed pursuant to this code and who is found by a court to have knowingly sold, applied, or provided fertilizers that were stolen or otherwise obtained illegally, in addition to any other penalty that may be imposed, shall have his or her license or licenses suspended for a minimum of 18 months.

(b) This section does not apply to a licensee whose employee or agent is found by a court to have knowingly sold, applied, or provided fertilizers that were stolen or otherwise obtained illegally, unless the licensee had actual knowledge of that conduct.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 848, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 1994.)

FACFood and Agricultural Code - FAC9