ARA's sympathies go out to the community of West, Texas, and to everyone impacted by the tragedy at West Fertilizer. News stories and video from the scene has shocked the agricultural industry and the entire country.
While we do not currently know many specifics about this site or the products present, we do know that the vast majority of agricultural retailers take exceptional care in the storage and handling of fertilizer products. We are eagerly awaiting the findings of official investigators concerning the cause of the incident and what lessons can be learned to prevent disasters like this in the future.
Fertilizer products are essential for high productivity by America’s farmers, as has been proven around the world since the days of the Green Revolution. By their nature they require specialized equipment that is inspected and certified, personnel that are extensively trained, specialized personal protective equipment for employees, and extensive coordination with regulators and first responders. Professional agricultural retailers take exceptional care with these products to store and handle them safely in order to serve their farmer customers and consumers. ARA will do everything we can to apply the lessons learned in West once the facts are known in hopes of never seeing a tragedy like this ever again.