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Forum staff reports, Published December 14 2010

Producers urged to check anhydrous nurse tanks

BISMARCK – Agricultural producers who plan to use anhydrous ammonia for the 2011 crop season are encouraged by Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring to inspect their nurse tanks and associated transportation equipment to ensure they are in proper working order.

“North Dakota Department of Agriculture employees will help producers in their efforts to have properly operating equipment and a safe working environment,” Goehring stated in a news release. “We welcome the opportunity to visit anhydrous dealers and users to review current requirements and make sure that their nurse tanks are ready for spring.”

Anhydrous ammonia, a widely used agricultural nitrogen fertilizer in North Dakota, can cause burns or, if inhaled in high concentrations, lung damage and death.

“Traffic accidents involving anhydrous tanks are reported in North Dakota every year,” Goehring said. “Fortunately, we have had no reported injuries, but the risk remains significant. We want to see that no accidents are caused by nurse tank trailers that aren’t ready for the road.”

Goehring said producers who have questions about nurse tank requirements or want an on-farm visit to inspect tanks and to through the safety checklist, should contact Spencer Wagner at the state Agriculture Department at (800) 242-7535.

Goehring said his agency has prepared a brochure, “Anhydrous Ammonia: Nursery Tank Safety,” that includes a safety checklist.

“The brochure is on our website at www.agdepartment.com/Programs/Plant/Anhydrous.html,” he said. “We can also email or mail a copy of the brochure out to anybody who wants one.”