American Crystal Sugar Co. Back At Drying Pulp With Natural Gas


American Crystal Sugar Co. temporarily loaded pressed pulp for shipment to area livestock feeders because it couldn’t dry the stuff to make into pellets, because of a natural gas pipe explosion and failure in Canada. I took this photo when it was about 20 below zero Fahrenheit on Jan. 26.


American Crystal Sugar Co. back to normal on natural gas for drying pulp?


American Crystal Sugar Co. had been reduced to using its biogas methane production to dry its pulp byproducts because of a natural gas pipeline explosion near Winnipeg, Man. The picture above shows loaders taking the pressed pulp product away from the Moorhead, Minn., factory, to stockpile on a beet pile slab.

David Berg, president and chief executive officer, confirmed on Jan. 27 that the company was authorized to resume its drying with natural gas as the pipeline was restored to service.

Separately, the company is also facing a railroad issue – an overflowing of sugar inventories in some factories because bulk sugar cars have been slow this winter. Berg says hundreds of empty cars stand empty on tracks, somewhere between Crystal and its major markets in the east. He and others in agriculture wonder how much the burgeoning oil industry is taking crew and track resources away from agriculture.

For stories about the problem, see, or A story is planned for the Jan. 28 issue of the Grand Forks Herald as well as the Feb. 3 issue of Agweek.