Check fuel, fertilizer and pesticide storage during busy summer months

The Clinton Conservation District assists farmers in many ways.  One program that helps farmers promote stewardship and protect the environment is the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP).  Helping to protect ground and surface water is one of the objectives of MAEAP, and working towards MAEAP verification can help you assess risks to ground and surface water on your farm.

During this growing season let’s look of some of the things that we don’t always think of year around.  This time of year can be really busy with getting crops planted as well as applying fertilizer and pesticides. All equipment, especially sprayers and gauges need to be properly calibrated and inspected.  Many farmers use temporary tanks, away from the farmstead, to store fuel and chemicals, and there are considerations to remember when using these temporary facilities.  Tanks, hoses, fittings and couplers should be inspected to ensure that leaks and spills do not occur in the field.  Mixing and loading should be done at least 150 feet from any well and more than fifty feet from surface water, and a permanent or temporary fueling and mixing pad should be used.  Every site and vehicle should have a spill kit for cleanup.  Phone numbers for the appropriate agencies that should be called in case of an accidental discharge should also be kept on site.  Other good practices to keep in mind are proper storage with locks, danger or warning signs. and secondary containment of hazardous materials.  Finally, don’t forget to maintain accurate records of applications and proper disposal of containers and rinsates.   

Following these useful and environmentally sound practices, will help to mitigate any adverse effects on the land and provide a safer growing season.

Contact MAEAP Technician Eric Bak for more information.