Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
Supply · Service · Stewardship

Spring Ammonia Safety - Proper Hose Management

There have been six ammonia releases reported this spring, and four of those were related to the ammonia hose.  Please follow the steps below to ensure proper hose management and safe ammonia transport and application:
1.  Always inspect all ammonia hoses for any nicks, cuts, soft spots or any slippage between the coupler and the hose itself. 
2.  Follow the replace by date indicated by the hose manufacturer and remember ammonia hoses cannot be repaired. 
3.  For applicator hoses, assure hoses are not rubbing on equipment, dragging or getting caught on the hitch or other equipment. 
4.  Adequate hose length is crucial between the applicator and tank or tanks being pulled.   The hose should not be too tight or too lose; it should be able to articulate freely without binding and without rubbing on equipment during turns or navigating through waterways.  
5.  Prior to inspecting equipment or hoses, utilize your PPE (gloves & goggles) and have plenty of water available. 
6.  Always assume ammonia is present in all equipment or hoses and thoroughly purge the ammonia prior to inspection or maintenance. 
Spending a few minutes inspecting equipment or hoses prior to usage will avoid any further releases this spring.  Also, be sure to close all valves and disconnect and secure hoses during transport on the highway.  Local and state agencies have a lot on their plate right now, and so do you!  Let's make sure no one has to spend valuable time and resources responding to an ammonia release.  Please contact John Rebholz at (815) 674-3798 for help with any ammonia related issue. 
IFCA has posted an ammonia safety checklist for growers on our website, feel free to print and provide copies to growers picking up nurse tanks.  If your retail company or grower customer has an ammonia release be sure to follow the procedures for properly reporting the release outlined in this Emergency Response Fact Sheet.