HATTON, N.D. — Hatton Farmers Elevator shareholders voted by a three-to-one margin to accept a purchase offer of $1.57 million from the Northwood Equity Elevator.

The unofficial results of the vote on Tuesday, Oct. 8, was 78-26, said Randy Thompson, Hatton Farmers Elevator Board president.

The 104-year-old Hatton Farmers Elevator only handled grain and wanted to be part of an elevator that also sold chemical, fertilizer and seed, Thompson said. During the past few years, there had been discussions about potential mergers with nearby elevators, including Thompson Farmers Coop Elevator, Finley Farmers Grain and Fertilizer and Mayport Farmers Co-op., Thompson said.

“Northwood gave us a flat-out proposition,” he said.

Farmers now will be able to buy fertilizer, grain and row crop seed and chemicals at Hatton Farmers Elevator.

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Sales of inputs is a way elevators can diversify, said Stu Letcher, North Dakota Grain Dealers Association executive vice president.

“It’s a common part of our industry,” Letcher said.

The purchase of Hatton Farmers Elevator will expand the trade area of Northwood Equity Elevator, said Scott Ostlie, Northwood Equity Elevator manager.

“It was a grain-only facility, and we’re trying to bring products and services to their area,” he said. “"One of the driving forces is expanding our agronomy business into that area.”

The purchase of the Hatton elevator will be beneficial to its shareholders who won’t have to buy their crop inputs from another business, Thompson said.

“Now, it’s a one-stop-shop,” he said.

Together, the two elevators will have a grain-handling capacity of 4.2 million bushels. Both elevators purchase soybeans, corn, wheat and barley. Hatton also is a receiving station for dry edible beans.

Having a single-grain elevator business will mean more buying power, said David Skjoiten, a Hatton farmer.

The purchase was necessary so the two elevators could stay competitive with large grain-handling companies that are in nearby towns, he said.

“It was inevitable,” Skjoiten said. “We’re surrounded by big shippers.”