Delays in rail transport of feed and grain to the West Coast result in the closure of feed mills
The National Grain and Feed Association (NFGA) and USDA are asking the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to investigate rail disruptions for agricultural produce.
NGFA Chief Economist Max Fisher says brownfield feed stocks and grain shipments from the Corn Belt to the West Coast are being delayed. “They just don’t get enough grain in time to fill the vessels and ensure the feed mills have enough grain to meet the demand for livestock and poultry.”
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says disruption has become a constant problem for agricultural shippers and rail services are at a breaking point as railroads have been downsized to focus on profitability.
Fisher says work-related challenges are causing the disruption. “This is more of an issue of making sure we have enough railroad staff to haul these grain trains from the Midwest to the West. It’s more a question of people than infrastructure.”
He tells Brownfield that some feed mills have run out of grain and have closed due to a halt in sales to customers. “Some of these facilities in California are underutilized and that means overtime is consuming less grain, less demand and that’s affecting the price.”
Both USDA and NGFA have sent letters to the STB urging the organization to address these issues and asking for weekly service updates from the railway companies to bring services “to an acceptable level”.
https://brownfieldagnews.com/news/rail-shipment-delays-of-feed-grain-to-the-west-coast-causing-feed-mills-to-shut-down/ Delays in rail transport of feed and grain to the West Coast result in the closure of feed mills