A new state training requirement for growers and grower farm operators who handle anhydrous ammonia was finalized last week.

Under the new requirement approved by the bipartisan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, the state now requires mandatory safety training for Illinois growers and grower farm operators who transport or apply anhydrous ammonia, or otherwise maintain anhydrous ammonia equipment. Those individuals must be trained in safe operating practices and steps needed during an emergency or a leak.

Growers and grower farm operators must attend training approved by the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) before April 1, 2022, for a new three-year certificate. Training must be offered at no cost to growers and grower farm operators.

A “grower farm operator” is defined as an individual employed by or otherwise authorized by a grower to transport or apply anhydrous ammonia, or to otherwise maintain anhydrous ammonia equipment. These individuals include grower family members, full-time and part-time hired help and others providing anhydrous ammonia services at no fee.

IDOA and Illinois Farm Bureau are working to offer online certificate training for growers and grower farm operators on the IDOA website. The online training is developed.

For more information, contact Lauren Lurkins, IFB director of environmental policy, at llurkins@ilfb.org or 309-557-3153.