Farmer’s Coop storage tank failures under investigation

April 13, 2019

HEMINGFORD — A failure Wednesday morning of storage tanks belonging to Farmer’s Coop in Hemingford caused 210,000 gallons of liquid fertilizer to spill, Coop General Manager Bart Moseman said Friday. Moseman said the coop immediately notified the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and that the spill is under investigation.

Shad Bryner, chief of the Hemingford Volunteer Fire Department, said nine tanks had failed, two containing roughly 40,000 gallons of water, and the remaining seven containing 210,000 gallons of the liquid fertilizer ammonium polyphosphate.

“Right now it’s completely unknown what caused the failure,” Bryner said. He said that while the spill was large, there was not an immediate hazard and that NDEQ is involved and will assess the impact.

Moseman said that the coop’s competitors, WESTCO, Simplot and Panhandle Coop quickly sprung into action to lend a hand, providing tankers to help contain and salvage as much of the liquid fertilizer as they could.

“They did a good job coming to the plate to help us out,” Moseman said. “WESTCO had an empty tank in Alliance that they are letting us store it at until we figure out what’s going on.”

Moseman declined to give a figure at this time as to the cost of the lost product and damage to the tanks, but said he plans to deliver a report on the incident at the coop’s annual meeting on Tuesday, April 17.