Source: Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association
There appeared to be more accidents with anhydrous ammonia this spring than usual, reports the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association. Based on its concern, IFCA asked the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Ag Products Inspection management team to sit down with IFCA to review the spring season and discuss the types of accidents that occurred this spring, several of which resulted in injuries.
IFCA held this meeting May 26, and learned that in the spring of 2010, IDA investigated 45 accidents involving anhydrous ammonia. Compare that to the entire 2009 crop year, when in both the spring and the fall application season there were 21 total accidents, and in 2008, 27 total accidents. A hurried season almost certainly lends itself to more accidents, but it was also clear in reviewing the reports that the vast majority of the accidents occurred while the farmer was in possession of the ammonia. Many of the accidents could have been avoided by using the proper length of hose, and by ensuring that the tanks were properly secured to the tool bars.