|Ohio Farm News
By Steve Bartels
We have been hearing for several years now that by 2007 farms would be required to have containment structures in place around their fertilizer storage to protect the environment in case of a leak or spill. Well folks, January 1, 2007 is only about 11 months away. The Ohio Department of Agriculture website - www.ohioagriculture.gov - has all the information you need to prepare to be in compliance.
With the price of nitrogen on the rise - quoted as high as 45 cents a unit, $253 a ton to a farmer here in the county for 28 percent on January 20 - you may be thinking of putting new storage on your farm to beat possible higher prices in the spring. The diking applies to facilities that have a 5,000-gallon tank or have more than one tank that have an aggregate capacity of more than 5,000 gallons and store the fertilizer on the farm for more than 30 days.
Before you install your containment facility, make sure that the plans are approved by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The plans must also meet the requirements of zoning regulations, building standards, and fire codes according to the website.
The storage tank must have a lockable liquid level-gauging device. It must be secured to prevent flotation, and must have a lockable shutoff valve.
In addition, it must have the tank capacity and the contents stenciled on the tank so that it is easily visible.
The containment area must be able to contain 10 percent more volume than the largest tanks capacity. If any of the tanks are more than 15 feet tall, they must be placed in the containment area so that they are more than four feet from the base of the containment structure.
The containment structure must be constructed of a material that will prevent vertical movement of the fertilizer of more than thirty five hundredths of an inch per day.
For more information on secondary containment on your farm, go to the ODA website - www.ohioagriculture.gov/ - then click on regulatory programs then click on Pesticides and Fertilizer Regulations then click on secondary containment information for farms.
This farm news was published in the February 1, 2006 issue of Farm World.