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Anhydrous ammonia theft

An increase in illegal methamphetamine use is bringing about a growing concern over the theft of anhydrous ammonia, which is used as a catalyst in the making of meth.

“Of the first things, there probably should not be a lot of empty tanks or even full tanks sitting around in unsecured areas,” said Bill Field, farm safety specialist at Purdue University. “If a tank is empty it’s time to get it back to the co-op where at least they’re a little bit more secure.”

If there are nurse tanks around, Bill Field recommends they be kept in a location where they can be watched and he says if you do find signs of tampering be sure to contact the authorities.

“The things farmers should be on the lookout for are thermoses, jugs, white gas, paint thinners or drug boxes. Usually it will just look like a pile of garbage,” Field said. “I think the only way we’re going to solve this problem is for farmers to report when they find these residuals.”

Audio: Bill Field, Purdue University (3:20 MP3)

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