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Hutchinson salt company ramping up production after major winter storms

HUTCHINSON, Kansas-- The winter storms across the mid-west are forcing the Hutchinson Salt Company to ramp up production.

Having to fulfill major orders for the states of Illinois and Iowa their sales are now 75% higher than the last two years.

"We did not produce as much as we probably should have in the warmer months," said Harold Mayo, plant manager for the Hutchinson Salt Company.

The salt shed in Hutchinson is half full right now because the plant manager says warm winters in recent years prompted the decision to scale back on the salt production.

"The weather fickle so from one year to the next you don't know if you're going to have a bad winter," said Mayo. "So you kind of play a guessing game to try to keep enough excess inventory to handle surprises and sometimes you mis-guess."

The company had to hire around a dozen more workers because of the recent storms sweeping through the mid-west.

Crews are working 7-days a week to keep up with the growing demand and sales are 75% higher this year compared to the last two.

"People are ordering all the time," said Mayo. "We have a lot of contracts that we're fulfilling by rail and a lot of our trucking contracts we're trying o fulfill right now."

Most of the multi-million dollar contracts are with nearby states including Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois.

"We'll continue hopefully not on this schedule," said Mayo. "We'll continue a lot of our hours until later in the year until we meet all of their demand and their sheds are all full."

But their schedule could be thrown off if mother nature decides to hit the mid-west with another massive winter storm.

"Honestly if we have a real bad winter we may fall behind," said Mayo.

 

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