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Emergency situation: Officials ask national board to help on delays in grain shipments by rail

North Dakota Gov. Gov. Jack Dalrymple, center, U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., left, and U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer. R-N.D., listen to opening statements by the National Surface Transportation Board during a hearing on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, in Fargo, N.D. The hearing discussed delays in railroad grain shipments. (AP Photo/Dave Kolpack)

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North Dakota Gov. Gov. Jack Dalrymple, center, U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., left, and U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer. R-N.D., listen to opening statements by the National Surface Transportation Board during a hearing on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, in Fargo, N.D. The hearing discussed delays in railroad grain shipments. (AP Photo/Dave Kolpack)

FARGO, N.D. - North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple told a federal board that manages railroad service issues that he considers the delay in grain shipments an emergency situation.

Dalrymple was among dozens of state officials from North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota who testified Thursday in Fargo in front of the National Surface Transportation Board. Many crops in the three states are at near-record levels and producers say the backlog is costing them millions of dollars.

Dalrymple says the board can provide an oversight role to ensure a balance between the agriculture and energy sectors and the larger and smaller shipments. He says the board also has the ability to arrange additional equipment and service.

The governor read the board a letter from a Wilton elevator whose rail service was 525 cars behind.

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