The Surface Transportation Board issued an order yesterday, (Tuesday, April 15th) to the BNSF and Canadian Pacific rail companies in an attempt to ensure that adequate supplies of fertilizer are delivered for spring planting in the Western Corn Belt following a public hearing held April 10th in Washington, DC.
Concerns about rail availability have been high over the past several months as rail car deliveries have fallen drastically behind due to record high crude oil shipments from the Bakken, inclement winter weather and record grain production last fall. Now as spring planting season has begun, uncertainty on the availability of fertilizer has farmers and others greatly concerned about their ability to raise this year’s crops.
The STB order tells the both the CP and BNSF rail lines to present a plan by Friday (April 18th) on how they will achieve adequate fertilizer deliveries. The board’s order also requires weekly updates on fertilizer deliveries for a six-week period beginning April 25. The reports will include fertilizer data by state, indicating the number of cars (shipped or received). The CP and BNSF will also report actual performance versus trip plan data for those shipments.
To read the entire STB order, click on the link below: