DHS Seeks Retailers’ Ammonium Nitrate Data

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seeking additional economic data from industry on ammonium nitrate (AN) fertilizer. You can still provide your input.

According to the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), DHS is likely to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking for an ammonium nitrate registration program in summer 2009 and issue a final rule in early 2010. While ARA has provided DHS information on AN fertilizer, “it would be helpful to obtain additional input from ARA members,” says an ARA press release.

DHS is seeking answers to the following questions:

  1. How many farms use AN? According to the Census of Agriculture, about 1 million farms use chemical fertilizers. How many of these use AN? How much AN is used annually in the U.S.? How much of that is imported?
  2. After AN leaves the manufacturer, it goes to wholesalers/distributors to be packaged. About how many of these wholesalers/distributors are there? How is AN repackaged and sold to end-use consumers — 50lb bags, bulk truck loads of XX tons?
  3. From the wholesalers/distributors, AN is sold to retailers and ultimately to farmers. How many retailers of AN are there? How many retailers of AN mixtures?
  4. Do many farmers purchase directly from the wholesaler/distributors? How many?
  5. When a farmer orders AN, how often does he/she take delivery, store it onsite, and apply it on their own? How often does the wholesaler/distributor apply the product as part of the transaction? How often for certified applicators? Does the applicator need to be certified?
  6. According to the Census Bureau, about 3,200 fertilizer applicator businesses operate in the U.S. How many of these apply AN? Of all the AN applied to farms, how much is applied via these services vs. application by farmers themselves or distributors?
  7. AN ends up as the nitrogen component in several mixtures. Is there any way to quantify how that is distributed into the supply chain?

Send your comments to Richard Gupton, ARA staff, e-mail at richard@aradc.org or fax 202-457-0825.

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