Each spring and fall, fertilizer dealers and growers transport anhydrous ammonia (NH3) to the field in white nurse tanks and connect the tanks to tool bars behind a tractor. The product, which provides essential nitrogen to corn and wheat crops, then is injected into the ground where it bonds to soil to provide nitrogen at the root zone of the planted crop.
Because of the potentially hazardous nature of anhydrous ammonia, the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association (IFCA) and Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) have produced a 12-minute video outlining the proper safety procedures that retailers and growers should take each and every time they handle the product. The video highlights the most common safety errors that can lead to an anhydrous ammonia accident or release.
It’s intended to supplement the training that IFCA provides each year to over 1,000 commercial ag retail employees who handle ammonia at retail facilities in the state.
“Our association saw that a basic need exists for farmers to have ready access to proper safety, handling, first aid, and emergency response information to help ensure the farmer’s own personal safety and to better understand what procedures to follow if a release of ammonia occurs while the farmer is transporting or applying the product,” says IFCA President Jean Payne.
The Fertilizer Research & Education Council (FREC) paid for the video with proceeds from a 12.5 cent fee on each ton of agricultural fertilizer sold in Illinois. FREC’s purpose is to fund projects that improve fertilizer efficiency as well as promote proper use of fertilizers.
The high-resolution video can be accessed at the IFCA website at www.ifca.com or at the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s website at www.agr.state.il.us. It also is available free of charge if other organizations would like to embed it on their websites. For more information, contact IFCA at 309-827-2774.
(Source: Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association)