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American Crystal says rail slowdown could cost millions

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - American Crystal Sugar Co. officials say they're worried that a slowdown in rail service could cost the company millions of dollars if it continues to disrupt production.

The cooperative says it plans to scale back on output at three of its plants because it's running out of storage space waiting for rail cars.

BNSF spokeswoman Amy McBeth says service is being impacted by ''extreme cold and winter weather conditions'' in the Midwest, and the railway has put a priority on serving Crystal Sugar.

Crystal CEO David Berg says he understands that weather can be a problem but adds that it's not a ''new phenomenon'' in the Northern Plains and increased oil traffic has made it a ''bigger pinch.''

Berg says Crystal does not have another viable transportation option.

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