Illinois Department of Agriculture, IFCA urging farmers to use caution with ammonia

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SPRINGFIELD - Fertilizer dealers and farmers are being urged by the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association and Illinois Department of Agriculture to exercise caution when applying anhydrous ammonia to plants.

Officials say anhydrous ammonia is essential to crop development, but the chemical has the potential to cause serious injury and harm to the environment when not properly applied.

According to Illinois Department of Agriculture officials, the failure to maintain safety devices, improperly securing tanks, and inadequately managing ammonia hoses are among the leading causes of accidents involving the chemical.  Officials also say accidents can be prevented by transporting anhydrous ammonia tanks no faster than 25 miles an hour on public roadways, and by properly maintaining equipment.

The Illinois Agronomy Handbook also suggests that anhydrous ammonia should only be applied once soil temperatures at the four inch level reach and stay at 50 degrees or lower.
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