it is important to maintain good storage and housekeeping practice when storing fertilisers.
Where possible, fertilisers must be stored in a closed, secure storage building to protect the product from the sun, rain and wind and to reduce the risk of theft.
Ideal storage conditions include:
Storing in an enclosed building that is capable of protecting fertiliser from the weather and particularly direct sunlight.
An environment that is free of dust and dirt.
Temperatures that range between 5 and 30 degrees C. - There are some fertilisers that are sensitive to high temperatures.
Storage to protect the fertiliser from moisture. Moisture brings on lumps and dust that causes the spreading capabilities of fertiliser to be compromised.
Pallet racking to avoid the need for doubles stacking of fertiliser bags.
Stock management to allow for first in, first out rotations.
The storage facility should be constructed from not-readily combustible material. Generally this material should be concrete, brick or steel.
Storage buildings should be adequately ventilated to help dissipate heat and discharge fumes in the event of fire or decomposition.
Floors should be level, dry and free from pot-holes.
The height of fertiliser stacks should be limited. High stacks of fertiliser bags can be unstable, may collapse and cause damage.
In accordance with National regulation, limit the size of stacks of fertiliser bags (300 tons for straight ammonium nitrate (>28%N)).
Store fertiliser at least 1 meter away from building eaves and beams. In the case of bagged fertiliser, also store at least 1 meter away from building eaves and beams. In the case of bagged fertiliser, also store at least 1 meter away from walls.
When stacking fertiliser bags on pallets, place the pallets on a firm, well-drained surface. If you must place pallets on top of each other, make sure you have a firm base.
Do not store bulk materials near each other. For example, keep urea separated from ammonium nitrate-based fertilisers. Never mix fertilisers without dividing the stock. Keep lime and fertilisers well separated. (Consult supplier if in doubt).
It is permissible to increase fertiliser bag storage to three sacks in height, if stored in an indoor storage and on a flat surface.
Keep fertiliser away from flammable material. Make sure there is a distance of at least 5 meters between fertiliser materials. Nitrogen fertilisers contain nitrates that decompose when heated. Decomposed gases include toxic nitrogen oxides already at 150 degrees C. There are some fertiliser products that develop carbon oxides (CO1, CO2) and sulphur oxides as well.
Place pallets on top of the covered fertiliser.- This protects the bags against damage caused by birds and other small animals.
For stability and safety purposes, big fertiliser bags should be stored in the form of a pyramid.
Pallet stack heights should be no more than 3-pallets high depending on the product, size of the bags, stability of the pallet and handling equipment.
Avoid wrapping sheeting ropes around your hands or fingers. The surface area of a sheet is large and a gust of wind could easily lift a person off the ground. If the ropes are wrapped around hands, injuries could occur.
Use gloves when sheeting.
Storing Liquid Fertiliser
The storage equipment requirements for liquid fertiliser depends on the number of grades required at one time, farm topography and logistics.
Liquid fertiliser tanks should follow these requirements:
Tank bases must be stored on a flat hardcore base.
All sites must be at least 10m from watercourses (AIC).
A contingency plan must be available in the event of spillage or leakage.