May 22, 2022

In-person Illinois certified grower training sessions offered to growers

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Illinois growers are invited to enroll in Anhydrous Ammonia Certified Grower Training sessions to fulfill state requirements on mandatory safety training.

Free certified grower training will be offered through a partnership with Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois Farm Bureau and Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association.

“After completing this training, I think growers will consider it time well spent,” said Jerry Costello II, director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture. “Anhydrous ammonia is a common, but potentially dangerous nitrogen fertilizer and the time they devote in the classroom reviewing how to safely handle the product and respond to a leak or emergency could prevent serious injury to themselves or a loved one.”

The following dates and locations will host the sessions. Training starts at 1 p.m. at all locations:

• Sept. 7: Days Inn, Rock Falls.

• Sept. 8: Knox Agri Center, Galesburg.

• Sept. 9: Poe’s Catering, Springfield.

• Sept. 10: Unique Suites, Charleston.

• Sept. 13: Asmark Institute Agricenter, Bloomington.

• Oct. 4: Asmark Institute Agricenter, Bloomington.

New state training requirements apply to growers and grower farm operators who transport or apply anhydrous ammonia, or otherwise maintain anhydrous ammonia equipment. This new requirement is found in the IDOA administrative rules regarding anhydrous ammonia at 8 Illinois Administrative Code 215.

“For over a decade, IFB has worked with the other farmer groups in Illinois, as well as IFCA, to regularly remind our farmer members about the requirements regarding safe transportation and application of anhydrous ammonia each spring and fall application season,” said Lauren Lurkins, director of environmental policy at IFB. “The safe transportation and application of anhydrous ammonia is important to every farmer. These training sessions will reemphasize the importance of the issue and showcase farmer commitment to safety.”

All growers or grower farm operators who transport or apply anhydrous ammonia, or otherwise maintain anhydrous ammonia equipment, shall be certified to understand:

• Properties of ammonia.

• Competent in safe operating practices.

• How to take appropriate actions in the event of a leak or emergency.

• Personal protective equipment and first aid.

• Transportation safety

“Offering in-person anhydrous ammonia grower training this fall is an excellent opportunity for growers to meet the training requirement prior to the April 1, 2022, deadline”, said KJ Johnson, president of the IFCA. “The in-person anhydrous ammonia training has been a collaborative effort between IFCA, Illinois Farm Bureau and the Illinois Department of Agriculture. This course provides excellent safety information for growers, farm employees and family members that transport, apply or otherwise maintain anhydrous ammonia equipment.”

Anhydrous Ammonia Certified Grower Training can also be fulfilled online at onenet.illinois.gov/page.aspx?item=128037.

Questions and assistance with the training content can be answered by the Illinois Department of Agriculture at 217-782-3817.

Growers and grower farm operators have until April 1, 2022, to be initially certified and must participate in refresher training every three years.

Attendance is limited for each session. Growers may register at www.ilfb.org/NH3 to guarantee their seat.