A company supplying fertilizer to farmers in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana is focusing on expanding partnerships after overcoming some challenges in its first year

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A company supplying fertilizer to farmers in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana is focusing on expanding partnerships after overcoming some challenges in its first year.

Half of Dakota Gasification Company’s business is now fertilizer with the addition of the Great Plains Synfuels Plant, which produces agricultural fertilizer like urea, sulfate and anhydrous ammonia, The Bismarck Tribune reported .

The company faced difficulties last month after a late spring unexpectedly sent farmers from across the upper Midwest to seek the manufacturer’s product all at the same time, said Trinity Turnbow, operations manager.

“From May 1 through May 12, 85,000 tons of urea was loaded and left the plant,” he said.

More than 100 trucks lined up daily for several days, with wait times spanning hours, Turnbow said. The company had a second loading bay for rail and truck traffic, but put off the necessary third-party certifications because the company thought train traffic wouldn’t pick up until later.

“We thought we’d get to try it out and make adjustments, but we didn’t get the opportunity to do,” said Nathan Johnson, senior logistics administrator. “It just hit.”

Johnson and Turnbow both think the lessons learned from the company’s first year will make for improved future operations.

Dakota Gasification signed 100 new agreements with trucking companies after adding urea, bringing the total agreements to 530, Johnson said.

The company has also signed an agreement with Orascom Construction Industries N.V. to market and distribute more than 4.5 million metric tons of fertilizer. The agreement secures more available product for Dakota Gasification customers and helps the company market the product.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com