Anhydrous ammonia safety seminars set

Farm Forum

The North Dakota State University Extension Service, CHS, North Dakota Firefighter’s Association and Ammonia Safety & Training Institute will be conducting anhydrous ammonia safety seminars in Garrison on Oct. 8 and Park River on Oct. 10.

The seminars are intended for farmers, fertilizer dealers, firefighters and first responders.

The Oct. 8 session will be held at the CHS agronomy office, 205 2nd St. S.W., Garrison. The Oct. 10 session will be held at the Walsh County Extension Building, 101 County Road 12B, Park River. The seminars are scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at both locations.

Ammonia is a chemical compound that crop producers use as a nitrogen fertilizer.

“When applied properly, it binds with moisture in the soil, providing nitrogen for crops,” NDSU Extension agricultural machine systems specialist John Nowatzki says. “But when anhydrous ammonia comes in contact with a person, it draws moisture from tissue, causing irritation, blisters and even death. Skin, flesh, eyes and lungs will burn unless washed thoroughly with water.”

Seminar topics for each location include:

• Hazards of anhydrous ammonia and conditions, actions and safety precautions

• Exposure levels: mild, moderate and acute

• Decontamination and medical care

• Emergency response and protective personal equipment, and first responder and hazardous material team protocol

• Transportation, bulk storage facilities, nurse tanks, treatment facilities and refrigeration

• Live ammonia demonstrations and hands-on experience in types of release, containment and control, rapid-entry rescue and the value of sheltering in place

Personnel from the Ammonia Safety & Training Institute (ASTI), based in Watsonville, Calif., will be the primary presenters at the seminars. ASTI safety training focuses on prevention, mitigation, preparedness, and response and recovery. The ASTI team consists of leaders from industry and public safety organizations.

Attending the training is free of charge, but preregistration is requested. For more information about the training, contact the following people:

• Oct. 8 – Irene Graves, McLean County Extension office, (701) 462-8808 or; or Chris Gratton, general manager of CHS in Garrison, (701) 897-1559 or

• Oct. 10 – Brad Brummond, Walsh County Extension office, (701) 284-6248 or

CHS in Inver Grove Heights, Minn., and Garrison, and the North Dakota Firefighter’s Association provided financial support for the seminars.