Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
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Anhydrous Ammonia Safety Video For Farmers

This video is designed to provide farmers with safety information related to handling, transportation, application, first aid and emergency response as it pertains to anhydrous ammonia.

New IFCA Directories

All dues paying members of the IFCA should receive the new 2013/2014 IFCA membership directory in the coming days.  Thanks to all the advertisers who help make this Directory possible!  If you have any questions about the Directory, please contact our office. 

2009 MSDS Books Now Available

Once again the Asmark Institute is offering the MSDS books for IFCA members.  There are many good sources of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for pesticides, however the unusual or hard-to-get items such as oxygen, acetylene, fuels, fertilizers, welding rods, micronutrients, paints, grain treatments, spray additives and cleaning supplies typically make maintaining a current MSDS file a real chore.  The 2009 MSDS manual, published by the Asmark Institute, is designed especially for Ag Retailers and contains 1,880 pages of information for more than 1,025 products.  OSHA requires each employer to maintain a current file for the ...

2010 MSDS Books Available From Asmark

There are many good sources of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for pesticides, however the unusual or hard-to-get items such oxygen, acetylene, fuels, fertilizers, welding rods, micronutrients, paints, grain treatments, spray additives and cleaning supplies typically make maintaining a current MSDS File a real chore. The 2010 MSDS Manual, published by the Asmark Institute, is designed especially for agricultural retailers and contains, 1,880 pages of information for more than 1,000 products. OSHA requires each employer to maintain a current file for the MSDS for the hazardous substances used or handled in the workplace. This manual is the best solution to help with this ...

2014 Limestone Producers Guidebook

Click here to view or download the 2014 Agricultural Lime Producers booklet.  

American Agronomic Stewardship Alliance

Click this link to visit the AASA homepage.

Ammonia Technician Course Available

There are still a few seats open this fall for the Asmark Institute's Ammonia Technician Course which is geared toward the needs of facility personnel responsible for maintaining the mechanical integrity of anhydrous ammonia installations.  This first course of its kind will be offered at the Agricenter Training Complex in Bloomington, IL.  The goal of this 3 day long course is to foster a strong preventative maintenance message and prepare participants to return to their facility trained to identify and address weak links in their anhydrous ammonia operation.  The course focuses on the following facility issues:   ...

Asmark Institute

Click this link to visit the AI homepage.

Asmark Institute Training Complex

The Asmark Institute today announced plans to construct a new training complex in Bloomington, IL to host its Ammonia Technician Course and a series of new courses designed for grain facilities.  Bloomington, IL is centrally-located within the United States and offers several advantages, especially to the agricultural industry.  The 26,000 square foot complex is expected to host a wide variety of meetings with its unique design and capability to accommodate equipment used for scenarios and specialized hands-on training.  The Bloomington complex will also serve as the central dispatch point for the new Professional Applicator Training course. Asmark Institute ...

Compliance Assessment Tool - by Asmark

Are you meeting your compliance obligations?

Department of Homeland Security Link to CVI

All facilities that register and submit Top-Screen information to DHS must also complete Chemical-Terrorism Vulnerability Information (CVI) training.  This consists of an an online training module which takes approximately twenty minutes to complete.  Click on this link to access the CVI training module, complete the training and print a certificate of completion.

Facts about Pesticides & ADHD Report

Click here to see the full story and facts about the report about pesticide exposure and ADHD in children. 

FBI Asks Industry To Keep Our Eyes Open

The IFCA office recently received a phone call from an FBI agent that we work with asking us to please keep an eye out for anything suspicious or out of the ordinary.  FBI Special Agent Steffan Nass, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Coordinator has informed the IFCA office that several lawn & garden facilities and ag retail facilities in the Midwest have experienced theft of ammonium nitrate based fertilizers.  Although no thefts have yet to be reported in Illinois, Special Agent Nass asks that you contact him directly if a theft has occurred at your facility no matter ...

Fire Prevention Plan Saves Money

IFCA in conjunction with the Asmark Institute recently developed a fire prevention plan for members free of charge.  The plan came about due to a need for IFCA members to work with their local fire departments to communicate and plan in the event of a pesticide fire.  To date, nearly ninety companies have used the plan in which they have reported monetary savings with their insurance provider.  The fire prevention plan is an excercise which outlines potential ignition sources and highlights what can be done to prevent a fire at a facility and what information should be ...

GMO Food Labeling Fact Sheet

Click below for a one page article from "Scientific American" magazine that explains the consequences of labeling foods that contain GMO ingredients. 

IFCA Meets with U of I on Industry Communications

Last week IFCA met with Gary Schnitkey of the University of Illinois Dept of Ag Economics.  Recently our members have expressed concern about publications from various academic institutions that list the wholesale price of fertilizer and encourage farmers to wait until spring to purchase fertilizer.  Of particular concern is the perception that is taking place with farmers who see wholesale prices in the Gulf and try to correlate that to prices in the Midwest.  It was a productive meeting in which IFCA members Ervin Caselton of Evergreen FS, Mike Hilgenbrinck of The Andersons and Brian Waddell of ...

IFCA Offering NH3 Training Video For Farmers

With funding from FREC, IFCA and the Illinois Department of Agriculture have produced an anhydrous ammonia safety video specifically for farmers.  Many NH3 releases and accidents occur on the farm, in transport or while the product is in possession of the farmer; therefore, IFCA sees the need to educate farmers about the proper handling, transportation, application and overall stewardship of ammonia.  To preview the video go to  We will be making this link available to grower organizations and will work with IDA and the media to get ...

IFCA Offering RMP Audits For Members

USEPA Region 5 indicates they will be more diligent in enforcing Risk Management Plan regulations in the near future.  In addition to increased enforcement IFCA has seen a substantial increase in monetary fines imposed on some IFCA members for non-compliance with certain regulations.  In an attempt to help prepare IFCA members for future RMP audits conducted by USEPA, IFCA will be offering a program for members to contact the association and schedule an RMP audit.  Kevin Runkle, IFCA Manager of Regulatory Services, will be available to schedule and conduct the audits with members ...

IFCA Winter Convention

The dates for the IFCA Winter Convention are January 19-21, 2010 at the Peoria Civic Center.  The convention starts on a Tuesday with a CCA session and the trade show is the 20th and 21st.  Exhibitor packets will be sent out shortly! 

Illinois Agronomy Handbook Fall N Chapter

Click here to see the updated fall N recommendations in the 24th Edition of the Illinois Agronomy Handbook.  To order the complete 24th edition of the Illinois Agronomy Handbook, call 1-800-345-6087 or visit the Publication Plus website ( The price is $35.

Illinois CBMP Hosts Nitrogen Webinar This Friday

The Illinois Council on Best Management Practices (CBMP) will hold a webinar on Friday, October 11 at 8:00 am central time to update ag retailers and CCAs on critical nutrient stewardship and management issues that will help our industry minimize environmental impact, optimize harvest yield and maximize input utilization (MOM).  The topics covered on the webinar will include:   1.  Guidelines for fall nitrogen applications:  timing, stabilization, rates 2.  Results of the N WATCH soil nitrate testing program from fall 2012 and spring 2013 sites 3.  New incentives to promote on-farm N rate trials 4.  Showing the value of an N management ...

Medical Cards Require Certified Medical Examiner

Effective May 21, 2014, interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers can only receive a valid medical certificate from a certified Medical Examiner (ME) listed on the FMCSA's National Registry.  To access the National Registry and locate a certified Medical Examiner click here then enter the city, state or zip code to find a list of MEs.  At this time, intrastate drivers are not required to use a ME on the National Registry.  If you are operating a commercial motor vehicle in a commercial enterprise that crosses state lines, please ensure you are in compliance with this new requirement ...

MiniBulk Recycling Update

We have gotten tremendous response from our members on the minibulk recycling program.  In late August and early September we will be getting in touch with everyone who has sent us a registration form to let you know how the schedule for collection will work.  Thanks for participating in this stewardship effort to recycle tanks that are no longer safe for use and need to be cleared out of your warehouses. 

MSDS Books Available

Dear Valued Member, We invite you to review and consider the following special offer available exclusively through our affiliation with the Asmark Institute. There are many good sources of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for pesticides, however the unusual or hard-to-get items such oxygen, acetylene, fuels, fertilizers, welding rods, micronutrients, paints, grain treatments, spray additives and cleaning supplies typically make maintaining a current MSDS File a real chore. The 2010 MSDS Manual, published by the Asmark Institute, is designed especially for agricultural retailers and contains, 1,880 pages of information for more than 1,000 products. OSHA requires each employer to maintain a current file ...

National Agronomic Environmental Health & Safety School

Click this link to visit the NAEHSS homepage.

New Nutrient Stewardship Brochure on the 4R's

Click here for a color brochure on the 4Rs for proper nutrient application:  Right Source, Right Time, Right Place, Right Rate

New Pesticide Container & Containment Regulations

Click on this link to view a brochure outlining the upcoming USEPA pesticide container and containment regulations.

NH3 Safety Awareness For Farmers

With harvest beginning in some parts of the state, that means anhydrous ammonia application season is right around the corner.  Earlier this year IFCA made available an online anhydrous ammonia safety awareness training program specifically for farmers.  The program is free and only takes about an hour to complete.  There are a total of five training modules focusing on Properties & Characteristics of NH3, Personal Protective Equipment, Transportation To and From the Field of Application, Safe Hook Up in the Field and Emergency Resonse/First Aid Procedures.  The program was made possible with a ...

No Need To Reinvent The RMP Wheel

Region V USEPA is sending Risk Management Plan (RMP) five year update letters reminding regulated facilities to resubmit their RMP.  The majority of ag retail facilities are up for the five year renewal June 2009.  Facilities should check their RMP file to determine the anniversary date for resubmission.  2009 is the last year USEPA will accepting diskettes.  After 2009, the RMP must be submitted on-line, similar to the SARA Tier II reports.    Submitting the Risk Management Plan to USEPA is only a small portion of the requirement set forth in the regulation.  Each facility ...

Obama Signs Bill Requiring Sleep Apnea Test For Drivers

On October 15, 2013, President Obama signed a bill (H.R. 3095) requiring FMCSA to use a formal rule making process if they wish to require sleep apnea testing for commercial truck drivers.  Although the law was signed just over a week ago, many doctors have been using their discretion to require commercial truck drivers to submit to a sleep apnea test prior to issuance of a medical card.  In order for a sleep apnea test to be a regulatory requirement prior to issuance of a medical card, FMCSA now has to address the issue through the formal rulemaking ...

Online Anhydrous Ammonia Safety Program

  Click  to access a free online program that covers safe ammonia handling, transportation, and emergency response.  This program is designed for farmers and we encourage its use.

Online Anhydrous Ammonia Safety Program for Farmers

Funded bythe Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council (NREC), this program consists of five ammonia safety training modules.  Go to  If you have any questions please contact the IFCA office.

Online Anhydrous Ammonia Training Now Available

 IFCA and the Illinois Department of Agriculture have made available online anhydrous ammonia training for members.  Employees or new hires who can not attend the regularly scheduled anhydrous ammonia safety schools now have the opportunity to receive an Illinois Department of Agriculture approved anhydrous ammonia training certificate online.  The training consists of a series of power point slides and videos which cover anhdrous ammonia properties, characteristics, safe handling, transportation, unsafe conditions and emergency response.  The training satisfies the Illinois Department of Agriculture requrements for a competant attendant.  Certificates are only valid ...

Plan To Attend 2008 National Safety School

Online registration is now available for the 2008 National Agronomic Environmental Health and Safety School (NAEHSS) held at the Interstate Center in Bloomington, IL on August 19th and 20th. The national safety school covers a wide variety of industry hot topics including presentations from DHS, USEPA, OSHA, JJ Keller & Associates, USDOT, The Fertilizer Institute and Illinois EPA. Topics of discussion include SPCC, RMP electronic submission, EPA Pesticide Container and Containment Regulations, DOT Drug and Alcohol Compliance, future of NH3 nurse tank testing and Ag-chemical facility fire prevention plan just to name a few.  The safety school ...

Revised Hazard Communication Standard

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration's (OSHA) revised Hazard Communication Standard took effect on May 25, 2012 and required mandatory training for most employers across the country on new requirements for chemical labeling and the new Safety Data Sheets by December 1, 2013.  The revision aligned OSHA's rules with the internationally accepted Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).  Any employer that uses hazardous chemicals in the workplace is subject to the new communication and training requirements.  Training issues for employers include:   Labels--Employers must train employees on new labeling elements including product identifiers, OSHA signal ...

SPCC Plan Compliance Deadline May 10, 2013

On October 18, 2011 the U.S. EPA issued a rule to extend the compliance date by which farms must prepare or amend and implement their Spill Prevention Control & Countermeasures Plan (SPCC) to May 10, 2013.  Farm operations now have less than three weeks to comply with the SPCC requirements.  You need an SPCC plan if an oil spill from your farm could reach water and you store oil products (diesel, gasoline, hydraulic oil, lube oil, crop oil, or vegetable oil) in above ground quantities of more than 1,320 gallons or completely buried tanks with more than 42,000 gallons of oil.  You ...

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The Fertilizer Institute

Click this link to visit the TFI homepage including access to the my RMP program.

The Value of the Ag Retailer

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has developed a great color brochure that explains the value that the ag retailer brings to the farm customer, to the local community, the environment and to the ag industry as a whole.  Go to to see the brochure for yourself.  You can download and distribute this brochure free of charge or you can have your logo put on this brochure and have copies shipped to your company to distribute to your customers.  For $10 you can receive 100 brochures with your company logo on them.  Please send an email to ...

Tired of Spinning Your Regulatory Wheels?

For the last three years, IFCA has partnered with the Asmark Institute to offer affordable and high quality regulatory compliance assistance for IFCA members.  It can be tough enough keeping straight which government agency is in charge of certain regulations.  The Asmark Institute can offer piece of mind for you and your company so more time can be focused on what you do best, running your business.  Since the partnership began, IFCA has signed up over twenty ag retail facilities with the Asmark Institute, on top of the nearly 100 that were already Asmark clients before the Institute ...

Wabash Valley Services is Environmental Respect Winner

Hearty congratulations to the management and employees of Wabash Valley Service Company headquartered in Grayville, IL for winning the National Environmental Respect Award.  This is the highest recognition that an ag retailer in the USA can receive for operating their business in an environmentally sound manner for the benefit of their customers, employees and the community.  Mike Wilson, manager of the Wabash Valley facility in Browns, IL accepted the award on July 9 in Washington, D.C. and said "The message that we carry is one of environmental stewardship.  If we are to continue to feed ...

Wind Energy Contracts

Click here for a document that lists questions to ask when reviewing contracts for wind energy towers.