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US rail issues not just effecting tanker traffic

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Though many of you might not appreciate the source (bit "right" politically of many of your reading sources...), I thought this was interesting.




Trains for grains scarce on the U.S. Plains

...Farmers in North and South Dakota, Montana and Minnesota are holding the largest grain stocks in years after months of worsening delays that crippled the backbone of the U.S. farm transportation system. Rail operators blame the snarled service on the coldest winter in decades and changing freight flows. Yet the delays are growing in some areas even as spring sets in, fueling renewed ire at oil companies that are increasingly competing for space on the same rails. Farmers are scrambling to find storage space as they prepare to harvest the winter wheat crop in the coming weeks, and some are changing their spring crops to avoid high-yield corn, which takes up more space in silos than wheat. Others are taking on the extra costs of trucking their harvest to far away markets.


The trouble is now rippling through the agricultural economy, disrupting grain processing at mills and leaving cereal and food companies short of supplies. A study conducted by North Dakota State University found that rail congestion could cost farmers in the state more than $160 million because the grain glut depressed local prices: $66.6 million in lost wheat, corn and soybean revenue from January to mid-April and an expected $95.4 million more in losses if their remaining inventory gets stranded.


At Southwest Grain, a 3,500-member farm cooperative granary based in Taylor, North Dakota, general manager Delane Thom worries there will be no hopper cars at his three loading terminals as the winter wheat harvest starts to come in.

Railroad BNSF has yet to deliver about 500 cars that he was promised in February and March, Thom said...




Just imagine if it were not for the ethanol industry greatly reducing the amount of grain to be shipped out, converting it into much more dense liquid fuel to transport out via tankers.  Some of it staying local to be used as fuel...  Imagine how much more grain there would be without the ethanol industry's efforts?


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Or imagine if every ethanol plant had a retail pump at the front of the property like our plant does... especially when selling 1,200 gallons of E85 a day. You barely even need a fuel truck to transport the E85 300 feet.

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