Dakota Gas urea facility arrives in the nick of time for spring planting


John Weinand, a farmer from the Hazen, North Dakota area, is happy a urea production facility has been built essentially in his backyard.

The urea production facility at Dakota Gasification Company’s Great Plains Synfuels Plant wrapped up its first-ever spring season after going commercial just a few short months before spring planting began.

While there were some bumps in the road, nearly 100,000 tons of urea were sold, loaded, and shipped across North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and even into Canada during a time when fertilizer was in extremely short supply.

“Things were tough this spring, because of a late start due to the weather,” says North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “It was a real challenge to get fertilizer to producers so they could get it on their fields in time. Some even had to resort to top- or side-dressing their crops (putting fertilizer on top or beside the crops after they’ve emerged). I think of how tight supply was, and it makes me wonder how bad it would have been if the urea plant had not been built. That plant is vitally important to farmers in North Dakota and beyond. It is huge for the state, bar none.”

John Weinand is a member of Basin Electric member Roughrider Electric Cooperative and immediate past president of the North Dakota Grain Growers Association. He operates a 6,500-acre diversified family farm six miles southeast of Hazen and has been using urea on his crops since he started farming more than 30 years ago.

He uses urea on several crops, including corn, sunflowers, and his award-winning winter wheat, which placed fourth in the 2016 national winter wheat yield competition. His yield was 85.66 bushels per acre –119 percent above the county average.

Find out why Weinand chooses urea over liquid fertilizers and why Dakota Gas has joined forces with a global fertilizer producer and distributor in the story, “Urea production facility benefiting farmers in North Dakota and beyond,” featured in the summer 2018 issue of Basin Today.

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