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Corn+Soybean Digest

Protect Anhydrous Ammonia Tanks With New Ammo-Lock

To help farmers prevent the theft of anhydrous ammonia from storage tanks, Smith Flow Control has devised a novel locking device. Called the Ammo-Lock, it is custom-designed to fit the tank's valve and provides a simple, fail-safe method of securing the contents.

Theft of anhydrous ammonia from farms has grown to alarming proportions in recent years. The perpetrators are illegal drug makers who use it to manufacture methamphetamine, also known as 'speed,' 'meth' or 'chalk.' Drug lab scouts roam country roads looking for tanks that they can break into under cover of darkness.

Installing the Ammo-Lock is simple: firstly, the locking mechanism is attached to the tank's valve by removing the handwheel and then sliding the lock body over the valve stem, securing it in place with a tamper-proof nut. A key is then permanently fitted to the handwheel, which is used to open and close the valve. When the valve is in the open position the key is trapped, and it can only be removed by fully closing the valve.

Once installed, the Ammo-Lock is easy to operate one-handed, even with gloves. In addition, because operation does not involve climbing up onto the tank to fit a cover or padlock, there is no risk of injury.

A number of States are now setting aside funding for farmers to offset the costs of locking their storage tanks. North Dakota, for example, launched its 'Anhydrous Ammonia Nurse Tank & Storage Tank Container Lock Pilot Program' on April 1 this year. Other Midwestern states are expected to follow suit.

For more information on how the Ammo Lock can help prevent the theft of anhydrous ammonia (and other chemicals) please either visit the website at, send an e-mail to, or call Smith Flow Control on 859-578-2395.

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