Your October issue of No-Till Farmer addressed pollution liability coverage under your farm’s insurance policy. But, even more important than your insurance coverage are the preventative measures you can take to contain a chemical spill if an accident happens.
Because it’s difficult to find insurance to cover farm chemical spills, no-tiller Charlie Beaver says, “You have to make sure you’re doing a good job preventing spills and leaks. You need to find ways to lessen your chances of liability.”
Beaver, a no-tiller for 25 years in Millerstown, Pa., decided to create a herbicide containment a few years ago after a pollution scare. He had returned home from vacation to find a 6,000 gallon tank of nitrogen had sprung a leak. His diversion area was built above a low area near a creek, which housed a small trout farm. The nitrogen was running into the creek.
“I just crossed my fingers and hoped the fish didn’t die,” Beaver says. Luckily, the fish were not harmed, but the incident was enough of a scare that he took action.
As Beaver was building a new farm shop, he installed a herbicide containment area. He placed the system inside the shop for convenience in order to have all of his herbicides and bookkeeping in close proximity so he can do his chemical recordkeeping right before going to the field.
Beaver had a sloping cement floor installed, which was rubberized and prevented chemicals from penetrating the cement. “You can spill nitrogen and it…