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Associated Press, Published September 02 2010

Number of licensed ND grain elevators rise

BISMARCK (AP) — North Dakota regulators say the number of licensed grain elevators has increased for the first time since 1995.

The Public Service Commission says licensed elevators in the license year beginning Aug. 1 total 399, up from 390.

The increase includes construction of grain elevators at Surrey, New Rockford and Maddock, along with re-licensing of an ethanol plant at Hankinson and a canola oilseed crushing facility at Northwood.

The PSC says the average capacity of licensed grain elevators has risen consistently since 1990 and now stands at 890,700 bushels.

Commissioner Kevin Cramer says the trend in grain handling and shipping has been toward consolidation of small elevators to large facilities. He says that makes it interesting to see the actual number of facilities increase slightly.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.