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Enhance Your Safety with Anhydrous Ammonia This Spring

By Jean-Paul McDonald

As planting season approaches, many farmers prepare to apply anhydrous ammonia, a common yet hazardous chemical used in agriculture. While racing against weather and time, prioritizing safety is crucial to prevent serious accidents. 

When working with anhydrous ammonia, always wear safety goggles and gloves; contact lenses are not advisable. Ensure you have at least 5 gallons of clean emergency water nearby in case of exposure. 

Be cautious during the connection and disconnection of lines. It's vital to assume that lines always contain anhydrous ammonia. Always work upwind to avoid direct exposure, and securely close and bleed lines when taking breaks or after use. Additionally, keep equipment well away and downwind from homes, people, and animals to avoid accidental exposure. 

Regular maintenance of equipment is also important. Never assume that NH3 lines are empty, and always have safety water accessible while performing maintenance. 

Transporting anhydrous ammonia requires careful attention too. When moving a nurse tank, maintain a speed limit of 30 miles per hour, ensure the tank is visibly marked with a slow-moving vehicle emblem, and secure the tank with two independent chains. 

In case of an accident or spill, it's imperative to call emergency services immediately at 911 and then contact the appropriate local authorities. 

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