Outdoor fertilizer dike with manufactured steel containment.


All bulk liquid fertilizer storage tanks must be stored in proper containment that is permitted by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). The cost of a bulk storage permit application is $100.00.

Requirements at a permitted liquid bulk fertilizer storage facility include:

  1. An identification sign with owner’s, operator’s, or agent’s name, and telephone number must be posted where it can be easily seen and read.
  2. An MDA incident emergency notification sign must also be posted where it can be easily seen and read within the facility.
  3. All tanks must be labeled with grade/guaranteed analysis.
  4. All tanks must have a main valve located near the tank.
  5. The main valves must be adequately safeguarded (lockable or secured inside a fence or building).
  6. Site gauge valves must be adequately safeguarded (lockable, close automatically, or secured inside a fence or building).
  7. All plumbing and appurtenances must be maintained and free of corrosion. (The MDA strongly recommends using stainless steel appurtenances on plugs and on all fittings up to and including the first valve).
  8. All storage tanks must be maintained and free of corrosion.
  9. All liquid bulk fertilizer dikes must be maintained:
    • Concrete dikes – All cracks and defects must be repaired
    • Synthetic lined dikes – Free of tears and punctures
    • Metal dikes – Free of rust and corrosion
  10. If plumbing is installed through a wall it must be adequately safeguarded:
    • Manifold – for metal and concrete dikes
    • Boot – for synthetic lined dikes
  11. Fencing is required for uncovered synthetic-lined dikes without vertical walls.
  12. Dike must be free of vegetation.
  13. Facilities must have on file a current contingency plan that describes the storage, handling, disposal, and incident handling practices. The MDA has fact sheets available to help facilities develop their own contingency plans.

Sioux Steel style outdoor containment with bulk liquid fertilizer tanks.


All spills of any pesticide or fertilizer must be immediately reported to the Minnesota Duty Officer at 1-800-422-0798 (greater Minnesota) or 651-649-5451 (metro).


The MDA strongly recommends replacing any mild steel tank that is  over 20 years of age, any unroofed poly tank over 12 years of age, or any roofed poly tank over 18 years of age (unless a thorough inspection has been done to verify whether the tank is suitable for continued use).

The MDA strongly recommends inspecting tank exteriors (including appurtenances) annually; inspecting tank interiors at least every five years; and keeping the inspecting records on each type of tank.

Photo shows pluming running from the main valves on bulk liquid fertilizer tanks.


The MDA also strongly recommends firms that store and handle bulk liquid fertilizer construct a permitted load pad that meets the general requirements currently used for bulk liquid pesticides. This would require a 3 inch (minimum) curbed load pad with a capacity of 1,000 gallons if storage tanks are 500 gallons or larger. Load pads must be constructed liquid tight and adequate to withstand the weight of the fertilizer being loaded.

Photo shows mild steel manufactured bulk liquid fertilizer tanks in an outdoor fertilizer containment dike.