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Even heavy rain doesn't bother this farm fertilizer dike systemEven heavy rain doesn't bother this farm fertilizer dike system

Farm fertilizer dike structure built to handle large amounts of rain and still provide protection.

Tom Bechman 1

April 14, 2015

2 Min Read

Mike Flock has had his dike structure for liquid farm fertilizer storage in place for many years now. Flock, Corydon, has not had an incident with a leak or spill, and he hopes he never does. But he sleeps well, knowing that if there was an issue, his on-farm dike system would contain the fertilizer and not allow it to run off and cause an issue in any neighboring water sources.

Related: Inside diked storage for on-farm fertilizer lets you rest easier


Flock installed the farm fertilizer dike structure several years ago. It's built of concrete and the floor is recessed below ground level. It's not covered, and water is pumped out using a sump. The recent heavy downpours that struck the Corydon area, delivering five inches or more at Flock's farm, looked like a small amount of water inside the high walls of the dike.

Should a problem have occurred with a leaking tank, the fertilizer would still have been contained and there would not have been a contamination issue, he says.

He stores both liquid N fertilizer for starter fertilizer and pop-up fertilizer in the dike. The tanks are divided fairly evenly between the two products. He does routine checks to ensure integrity of the tanks.

Having tanks and a diked system gives him flexibility in when he purchases product. It also allows him to have the fertilizer on the farm so that he has easy access to it when he is ready to plant. Now he doesn't have to rely on trucking it in from a retail fertilizer outlet during their busiest season of the year.

Capitalize on farm fertilizer purchasing opportunities. Read Farm Futures' Weekly Fertilizer Review by Bryce Knorr for the latest fertilizer news.

There are regulations involved in fertilizer storage diking, and it's important to inquire about state rules before erecting an on-farm fertilizer dike to make sure that the structure you build meets state guidelines.

Flock feels that building a concrete dike around his liquid fertilizer storage tanks was a smart investment for both the farm and the environment.

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

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