How To Improve Fertilizer Safety

Representing almost half of all crop input sales industrywide, fertilizer is a major component for many retail outlets. Naturally, protecting this valuable business asset is critical. Here are some key points to consider, followed by some quotes from ag retailers who are leaders in the field.

Key Points To Consider

  • All fertilizer loading areas should include containment dikes to prevent accidental spills from contaminating nearby areas. If possible, rainwater collected in these dikes should be reused in other areas around the facility.
  • Anhydrous ammonia tanks should be properly maintained and locked to prevent product theft.
  • Unused drains in sensitive areas of the dealership should be covered permanently to prevent accidental contamination in the event of spills.
  • Retailers should hold regular meetings to discuss product safety and security issues as well as address any emergency training procedures that need to be followed at the outlet.

They Said It

“Our storage areas are inside dikes and kept clean and in good working order.” — Justin Allen, branch manager, Wilbur-Ellis Co., Rosebud, TX 

“Rainwater collected from our fertilizer containment dike is irrigated to three acres of grass that we have seeded on our property.”Douglas Quear, location manager, Crop Production Services, Arcadia, IN

“Our new anhydrous ammonia riser/platform allows efficient and safe processing of ammonia wagons. Supply piping and transfer hoses are installed.” — Patrick Nellenbach, manager of operations compliance, Crop Protection Services, Attica, IN

“Anhydrous ammonia area for nurse trailers with fill valves are secured in lock boxes. A water tank in the center of the area is a safety measure in case of a spill.”James Reed, branch manager, Helena Chemical Co., Burkburnett, TX

“We take special care when storing chemicals and fertilizer. Any drains we previously had were sealed with concrete.”  — Frank Anthis, manager, Crop Production Services, Wheatland, IN

“We hold monthly safety meetings regarding emergency procedures, employee safety, environmental concerns, and general housekeeping issues.”  — Trammell Henry, location manager, Crop Production Services, Summerdale, AL

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