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Special Announcement

The Agricultural Retailers Association has released the following statement advising their members to observe security measures to protect stocks of agricultural chemicals.

Retailers, Farmers Advised To Tighten Security of Ag-Chems

In the wake of recent, tragic events in New York and Virginia, agricultural retailers need to be very aware of the uses to which their "tools of the trade" can be turned. While the FBI is specifically concerned with ammonium nitrate and urea, other ag chemicals such as anhydrous ammonia should also be carefully secured.

After recent reports of possible terrorists seeking ammonium nitrate in the southern U.S. and of some terrorists acquiring commercial driver's licenses to haul hazardous materials, ARA contacted various departments of the FBI and was asked to forward the following request to our members:

"Following the Terrorist incidents on September 11, 2001, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is requesting the assistance of all retailers of bagged ammonium nitrate or urea to be aware of anyone acting suspiciously and wishing to purchase either ammonium nitrate or urea; or anyone who has already purchased quantities and were suspicious to you. Should you be approached by such an individual or have already sold to such an individual, you are requested to contact your local FBI office and provide any details regarding the purchase or information regarding the purchaser. You can locate the telephone number for your local FBI Field Office inside of the front cover of your telephone book, or call telephone information."

ARA members are also reminded of the "Be Secure For America Program" which is an industry/government initiative that was unveiled this past summer and is designed to ensure the safe, intended use of fertilizer. ARA, The Fertilizer Institute, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the Association of American Plant Food Control Officials, co-sponsored the program. Free brochures and posters are available and there is a toll free number (800-800-3855) to call to report suspicious activity.

In order to prevent the theft and possible misuse of ag chemicals, retailers and farmers may want to review and use some or all of the following procedures:

  • Increase your security presence and/or ask local law enforcement to drive by at night;
  • Make sure all installed security features, including lights, are working and use them;
  • Do not sell potentially dangerous ag chemicals to unknown customers and report any suspicious activities or requests immediately;
  • Inform your customers of what's happening and ask them to secure their own areas of control;
  • Report any thefts, break-ins, disappearances or inventory shortages; and,
  • Take measures to secure chemicals during shipment by your employees.

If you have questions, contact the Agricultural Retailers Association at (800) 535-6272.

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