- Associated Press - Thursday, May 10, 2018

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Gov. Doug Burgum has signed an emergency order easing driving restrictions for truckers who haul anhydrous ammonia fertilizer.

North Dakota farmers are facing a shortage of fertilizer. That’s due to significant late-season snowfall in other parts of the Upper Midwest, which has delayed and shortened the spring planting season across the region.

“North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin utilize some of the same resources for fertilizer,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “Everyone is trying to use the same trucks, facilities and manufacturers, and it is creating a supply issue.”

Goehring requested the order because commercial truck drivers are moving more fertilizer in a shorter time frame.

“Because of the restrictions in hours that drivers can log and the late spring, we’re running into problems with getting anhydrous ammonia and other inputs to the field in a timely manner,” said North Dakota Farmers Union President Mark Watne.

Watne said a short-term waiver will guarantee “farmers get the inputs they need to complete spring planting.” It will remain in effect through the end of the month.

Distributors told The Bismarck Tribune that at the Dakota Gasification Company urea plant near Beulah, the wait for fertilizer has spanned as much as five hours.

“We are doing what we can to get the urea fertilizer produced at DGC to market as quickly as possible,” said Curt Pearson, a spokesman for DGC parent company Basin Electric Power Cooperative. “Staff have been fine-tuning the loading system to improve the time it takes to load each truck, which will allow more trucks to be loaded each day.”

The plant has opened a second loading bay.


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

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