Farmer Ammonia Training Rules Moving Forward
Ever since the unfortunate ammonia release in April 2019 in Beach Park, IL that resulted in injuries to emergency responders and citizens, IFCA has been working closely with the IL Dept of Ag, IL Farm Bureau and the Corn and Soybean Associations to develop rules that will require farmers and farm employees or family members who transport, apply or work on ammonia equipment to be trained and certified on the safe handling of ammonia and required emergency response actions. After many meetings and discussions, this workgroup developed agreed-upon regulatory language and a process in which to provide high quality on-line and classroom training to farmers. The training program will be provided at no cost to the growers. It will be a once every 3-year certification program, similar to the industry's competent attendant program.
The proposed rules have now been published for comment and we expect the final program will be in place by year-end, with training opportunities available prior to the spring 2021 ammonia season. It has been a very productive and positive collaboration, and we look forward to engaging ag retailers in the classroom training so that retailers can provide local training opportunities for their farmer customers, utilizing the agreed upon training materials developed by the IDA. More details will be forthcoming, but we wanted to share this positive news with you. The safe handling of fertilizers and pesticides is a key mission of the IFCA; this is another example of how we continue to help enact programs to fulfill IFCA's commitment to stewardship and assure public trust in our handling and use of agricultural inputs.