Mild winter putting a damper on Kansas salt mining

Published: Feb. 22, 2017 at 6:39 AM CST
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The lack of snow this season is putting a damper on production at salt mines like the one in Hutchinson.

The Hutch Salt Mine says this is normally their busiest time of year for workers, who could put in 20-30 hours of overtime a week.

This year, employees say the weather has them working a normal 8-5 job.

Salt Mine officials tell us this is the season when they make their money for the entire year, because things slow down significantly during the summer months.

In a typical year, the company will go through 600,000 tons of salt. But, with the warm weather, they've only gone through about 400,000.

It may not seem like a huge difference, but every little bit helps.

"It's kind of tough on the guys because they do depend on that in the winter time," said Hutchinson Salt Company GM Jim Barta. "We are like the wheat industry , the winter is our harvest time and we haven't had one yet this year, but I still have hope that we will, there is still time left."

Barta says other mines in Kansas are seeing similar issues. He says a deep freeze will help and they'll be watching the upcoming weather closely.