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7 tips for safely applying and transporting anhydrous ammonia

It’s that time of year when farmers and applicators are preparing to apply anhydrous ammonia before they plant. Spring work is always a rush against the calendar and weather, but safety shouldn’t be sacrificed.

Here are 7 tips for handling anhydrous ammonia (N3) this spring.

  1. Always wear appropriate goggles and gloves. Never wear contact lenses. Be fully clothed with long sleeves and pants. Because NH3 has little or no water, it aggressively seeks out moisture, be it from soil or your eyes, throat, lungs, or skin. Coming into contact with anhydrous ammonia can cause tissue dehydration, caustic burns, and frostbite.
  2. Be sure to have a clean emergency water supply of at least 5 gallons.
  3. Be careful when making connections and disconnections. Behave as though lines contain anhydrous ammonia. Never assume an NH3 line is empty.
  4. Stand upwind when connecting, disconnecting, bleeding lines, or transferring anhydrous ammonia. Also, close, bleed, disconnect, and secure valves and transfer lines when taking breaks or disconnecting lines. Be sure to handle hose end valves by the valve body.
  5. Park equipment away and downwind from homes, people, and livestock.
  6. When towing a nurse tank, drive carefully. Stay under 30 mph, display a slow-moving vehicle sign on the back, and be sure the tank is secured to the tractor or truck with two separate, independent chains on top of the hitch pin or clip.
  7. If an accident or spill occurs, immediately call 911.
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