Anhydrous Ammonia (NH3)
Customer Safety Reminder
- Please Review -
ü Chains should be crossed under the tongue and hooked to the bumper of towing vehicle.
ü Tow no faster than 25 MPH
ü Stop at all railroad crossings. This is a placard vehicle.
ü Wear gloves, goggles, long sleeves, and pants.
ü Water is the only first aid for NH3
Henderson Coop is concerned about the safety of our members and our employees; therefore, we have procedures that must be followed while your tank is being filled.
If you are filling your tank at one of our facilities, Henderson Coop policy requires that you remain in your vehicle or be clear of the filling area while the tank is being filled. Only our employees are allowed near the filling stands.
Our employees are required to have a Commercial Drivers License with a hazardous materials endorsement before they can tow a nurse tank. As a farmer, you are not required to have this as long as you are within a 150-mile radius of your farm. This is a good indication of the level of concern you should have when you tow nurse tanks.
Remember: (1) Wear Personal Protective Equipment when filling or connecting tanks. (2) Cross and secure safety chains. (3) Drive no more than 25MPH. (4) Pay attention to slopes and curves. (5) You will not stop or start nearly as fast when towing a full tank (6) Stop at all railroad crossings- it is the law .
Towing the Nurse Tank
A fully loaded twin nurse tank running gear can weigh upwards of 23,000 pounds. This is a large weight for the typical pick-up to pull. Please remember that these trailers have no brakes and are often top heavy.
Attention should be given to the way the nurse tank is connected to your vehicle and to how it is towed.
In order to tow the weight of a nurse tank it is suggested that the tow bar be directly attached to the frame of your vehicle. The pin should be inspected periodically and a safety pin should be used. Nebraska law stipulates that safety chains from the nurse tank be crossed under the tank tongue and attached to your vehicle.
The boiling point for anhydrous ammonia is -28 degrees F. This will cause frostbite very quickly. It is also caustic and will burn your skin. Anhydrous Ammonia attacks mucous membranes and the eyes with a great deal of ferocity.
Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) includes: (1) Goggles. (2) Wearing glasses as opposed to contact lenses. If exposed to NH3, contacts will freeze to your eye. (3) Heavy rubber gloves (4) long sleeve shirt and long pants. (5) Full water bottle in shirt pocket.
Stop by the Fertilizer Plant to pick up your safety goggles and gloves!!!
The first aid for anhydrous burns is water and only water! Make sure that the water tank on the nurse tank is full and always carry a bottle in your tractor to use as eyewash. If burned, rinse affected area continuously with water for a minimum of 20 minutes. Make sure you tell the doctor that the burn is from NH3. DO NOT put salve on the burn.
* Remember when temperatures drop, your water supply may freeze. We recommend that you use gallon milk jugs for water storage and that you keep several jugs in the tractor cab or pick-up.
Hoses & Connections
Make sure that the hoses on your equipment are in good shape and that all connections are secure. The failure of these items often results in burns. If a hose is frayed or a connection is lose, replace or repair them.
If you need any hoses for your NH3 applicator stop by the Fertilizer Plant and we will get your new hoses and connections in time for the upcoming season.
When making inspections or connecting and un-connecting the tank, make sure that you are wearing your PPE and have a supply of water handy.
We are sure that you are aware that people may try to illegally access NH3 nurse tanks on your property. NH3 theft from nurse tanks is very common in this area.
NH3 is used as a main component in the illegal manufacturing of “Meth” or Met amphetamine. Please do your part to deter this. Park tanks in areas where they can always be observed.
US Department of Transportation Rules for Nurse Tanks
Anhydrous Ammonia is a hazardous material under DOT’s Hazardous Materials Regulations. As a commercial carrier, Henderson Coop must abide by rules that were effective October of 1998. Farmers have a few exemptions to those rules.
The rules that apply to nurse tanks and farmers are as follows:
Shipping Papers- you do not generally need shipping papers when hauling a nurse tank with anhydrous ammonia, provided the tank meets certain safety standards. This is an exception to the shipping paper rules that only apply to farmers within certain limitations.
Labels- the tank will be labeled properly.
Placards- nurse tanks are an exception to the placarding rules. The truck does not need to have the familiar placards attached to it.
Emergency Response Information- Please call Henderson Coop Agronomy Plant or salesman if you have a NH3 release. If after hours, call 402-366-9274 or 402-366-0426.
Reporting of Spills- if you have an accident or a leak from the nurse tank, get a safe distance from the scene in an upwind direction. As soon as you safely can, call 911 and Henderson Coop. Be ready to give your location and describe what happened.
Steps to Avoid Grain Bin Entrapment
Ten seconds. That's how quickly you can become entrapped in grain up to your waist while working in a grain bin.
Twenty-five seconds. That's how long it takes to become completely submerged in grain.
Records indicate that each year in Nebraska one to three people die from grain entrapment and many more put themselves in critical near-death situations.
Reducing risk starts with proper stored grain management to keep grain from going out of condition and crusting. In turn, this reduces the temptation to enter the bin to manually move the grain.
Aaron Yoder, an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, researches farm safety and conducts national farm safety programs. Yoder describes four scenarios often causing grain entrapment:
Figure 1. As an auger pulls grain out from the bottom, a funnel forms in the center of the grain. As grain shifts, a person can quickly become entrapped. (Source, Figures 1-3: Pennsylvania State University Ag Safety and Health)Figure 2. When a crust forms on grain, a pocket can form underneath as grain is moved out of the bin.Figure 3. When a bridge of crusted grain breaks, a worker can fall in, becoming entrapped as the grain flows in to fill the space.
Corn and soybeans left behind when the field is combined represent a loss of profits. Harvest losses cannot be completely eliminated, but can be reduced to 1 to 2 bushels per acre by checking the performance of your combine.
CORN: How to Measure Harvest Loss Determine total ear loss by counting the number of full-size ears, or the equivalent, in a 1/100 acre area (Table 1). Each full-size ear represents about 1 bu/acre loss.4
To measure kernel loss, count the loose kernels on the ground and those still attached to threshed cobs in a 10 square foot area for each row behind the combine. The area should have width equal to the planted row width (Table 2). Two kernels per square foot equals a 1 bu/acre loss.4
Reduce Corn Harvest Loss Proper combine settings can help maximize income by reducing harvest loss and reduce volunteer corn issues for the next growing season. Mechanical losses may be due to ear drop, stalk lodging, and kernel loss from threshing and cleaning. Mechanical losses are expected, but keeping them to a minimum of 1% for ear loss, 0.3% threshing loss, and 0.5% loose kernel loss should be the goal.1 Altogether, a 1.8% mechanical loss from a 150 bu/acre corn yield would be 2.7 bu/acre or an average of 5.4 kernels per square foot.
Ear loss can be minimized by setting snapping rolls to fit stalk width, and running snapping rolls at the same speed as ground speed. Cylinder or rotor speed can be adjusted to minimize threshing losses and kernel damage. Loose kernel losses can be affected by fan and shoe settings, and combines should be adjusted where stressed plants produced lighter kernels. Follow manufacturer’s settings to minimize losses.
SOYBEANS: How to measure harvest loss Losses are determined by counting the number of soybeans on the ground in a 10 square foot area (Table 3).4 Number of soybeans lost per square foot can be determined by counting soybeans in this area and dividing by ten. Approximately four soybeans per square foot equals 1 bu/acre loss.2,3 Therefore, dividing the number of soybeans per square foot by four will give the loss result in bu/acre. Make loss determinations at several locations and calculate an average.
Reduce Soybean Harvest Loss Soybean combine losses can be as much as 15%. Careful maintenance and operation can help keep soybean harvest losses to 3% which would be 1.35 bu/acre in a 45 bu/acre crop (or 5.4 soybeans per square foot). Most of soybean harvesting losses occur at the gathering unit of the combine between the header and standing soybean plants.2 Loss at the gathering unit is often from shattering.
Shattering loss can be reduced by harvesting soybeans as quickly as possible when soybean moisture reaches 15%.3 Ground speed should be reduced to 3 miles per hour or less, and reels should operate about 25% faster than ground speed. The best guide for correct combine settings and adjustments is your operator’s manual.
SummaryEach harvest season producers have the opportunity to save yield potential through combine adjustments and careful operation of machinery. While some grain loss is expected during harvest, mechanical losses should be kept to a minimum. Measurement of grain left behind the combine is the key to making adjustments to combines and combine operation.