PotashCorp marks 30 years in Webster County
By JESSE HELLING
Low profile, big impact.
For 30 years, Potash Corporation has maintained a facility just west of Fort Dodge on Business U.S. Highway 20.
The company, based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is the world’s largest producer of potash, which is used in fertilizers.
Though PotashCorp has a global reach – its products are exported to Europe, Asia and Latin America, in addition to North America – its presence in Fort Dodge is rather quiet.
But on June 27, customers and community members were invited to the facility for a celebration marking its three decades of existence.
The Fort Dodge facility serves as a warehouse and shipping hub for the company’s potash, which is mined in Canada and transported via rail.
“This is our flagship operation in Iowa,” said Jerry Byrd, manager of warehouses and terminals.
There are two full-time employees on staff, including Russ Tucker, warehouse supervisor.
Tucker was on hand to answer questions and lead tours through the facility.
According to Tucker, 2,156,269 tons of potash have been shipped out of Fort Dodge by PotashCorp since 1982.
Product is brought to Fort Dodge 70 rail cars at a time.
Each rail car holds between 98 and 114 tons of potash, according to equipment operator Nick Kilstrom.
“We can unload a rail car in six minutes,” he said.
PotashCorp sells to agriculture cooperatives and other large clients, who then blend the potash for use in farm applications.
Once the product is unloaded, orders are organized and shipped to various customers within an 80-mile radius.
Orders are organized into 25-ton truckloads, said Tim Smith, regional sales manager.
According to Smith, the Fort Dodge facility can fill an order the same day it is requested.
“A guy might want one truckload, 100 truckloads or 1,000 truckloads,” Smith said. “We can fill it.”
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