BISMARCK, N.D. (NDDA) - A new law that creates a licensing provision for anhydrous ammonia mobile storage containers went into effect on August 1st.
A mobile storage container is defined as a U.S. Department of Transportation class MC-331 cargo tank, or an American Society of Mechanical Engineers code-constructed and National Board-registered mobile storage container, approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation, used for the temporary storage of anhydrous ammonia to be downloaded into a nurse tank.
"Anhydrous ammonia storage facilities are very costly to construct and are a huge investment," Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. "Using mobile storage containers for mobile downloading into nurse tanks during the season provides farmers and dealers with more affordable options compared to building new or expanding storage at existing permanent storage facilities."
Goehring said the North Dakota Department of Agriculture will be licensing mobile storage containers for the purposes of downloading anhydrous ammonia into nurse tanks in the field. The licensing fee for a private mobile storage container is $25 and the fee for a retail mobile storage container is $100.
The licensing requirements pertain to both private farmers and commercial businesses. Only mobile storage containers performing mobile downloading into nurse tanks need to be licensed. Mobile downloading into nurse tanks out of a mobile storage container without a license is a violation.
The new licensing requirements require approval from local authorities just like permanent storage facility licenses. Users will need to designate mobile downloading sites so local authorities are aware of where mobile downloading is taking place for emergency response planning purposes.
Those who are planning to use mobile storage containers for mobile downloading into nurse tanks should contact Eric Delzer at the North Dakota Department of Agriculture at 701-328-1508 or 800-242-7535 to start the licensing process.
BISMARCK, ND (NDDA) - "Anthrax has been confirmed in a group of cows in a pasture in east Billings County," said North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.
The state's first reported case of anthrax this year is a reminder to livestock producers to take action to protect their animals from the disease, especially in areas with a past history of the disease. The case, in east Billings County, was confirmed Friday by the North Dakota State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory based on blood and tissue samples submitted by a veterinarian with Cross County Veterinary Service in Dickinson.
"Producers in past known affected areas and counties should consult with their veterinarians to make sure the vaccination schedule for their animals is current," said North Dakota State Veterinarian Dr. Susan Keller. "Producers in Billings County and surrounding areas should confer with their veterinarians to determine if initiating first-time vaccinations against anthrax is warranted for their cattle at this time."
Effective anthrax vaccines are readily available, but it takes about a week for immunity to be established, and it must be administered annually for continued protection. Producers should monitor their herds for unexplained deaths and report them to their veterinarians.
Anthrax has been most frequently reported in northeast, southeast and south central North Dakota, but it has been found in almost every part of the state.
"Scattered heavy rain in that area may have contributed to the disease occurrence in that particular pasture," Keller said.
A few anthrax cases are reported in North Dakota almost every year. In 2005, however, more than 500 confirmed deaths from anthrax were reported with total losses estimated at more than 1,000 head. The animals impacted included cattle, bison, horses, sheep, llamas and farmed deer and elk. No cases of anthrax were reported in North Dakota in 2016, one case was reported in 2017 and none were reported in 2018.
An anthrax factsheet is available on the North Dakota Department of Agriculture website at www.nd.gov/ndda/disease/anthrax.
Anthrax is caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis. The bacterial spores can lie dormant in the ground for decades and become active under ideal conditions, such as heavy rainfall, flooding and drought. Animals are exposed to the disease when they graze or consume forage or water contaminated with the spores. Biting insect control is also advised in affected pastures and neighboring areas.
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