Before Old Man Winter officially hits, remember: It’s time to winterize your anhydrous ammonia application equipment.
Applying anhydrous ammonia in the fall is a great step to take if weather and time allow for it. This will save you time next spring so you can plant as soon as possible and will pave the way for maximum yield potential.
However, once the applications are complete, it’s necessary to take care of the equipment you used. By preparing your applicator to sit over the winter months, you’ll ensure it’s ready to use the next time it’s needed.
Winterizing anhydrous ammonia applicator equipment is incredibly important. Not only is the cold weather hard on machinery but the fertilizer is too. Anhydrous ammonia can be corrosive. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take each fall to keep your applicator in good working condition for years to come.
How to Winterize
- The first step is to flush the system with kerosene. This will get rid of any excess product that might be remaining and prevent corrosion and/or crystallization throughout the winter. If you don’t do this, you could face plugs in various parts of the equipment and possibly cracked pumps in spring.
- Then you also should flush the check valves and drain and replace end caps.
- After that, remove the strainer and drain it as well.
- Be sure to drain the lines and tanks entirely. Proper drainage will help avoid freezing damage when the temperatures drop.
- The next step is to run RV antifreeze throughout the system and leave it in there until spring. Doing this will protect the parts, again, from any damage caused by freezing temperatures.
- Finally, a step some might not think to take is to rinse the entire applicator. This will ensure there is no corrosive fertilizer left on the outside.
Old Man Winter can be hard on equipment. Make sure to stay one step ahead of him.
For more information about nitrogen applications and nutrient management, visit NitrogenMaximizers.com on Corteva.us.