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Published August 08, 2014, 01:10 PM

Hoeven to meet with CP head Aug. 11

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., will meet Aug.11 with the Canadian Pacific Railway CEO in Minot about the rail issues the ag industry has experienced. The event will be open to the public.

By: Mikkel Pates, Agweek

FARGO, N.D. — Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., will meet Aug.11 with the Canadian Pacific Railway CEO in Minot about the rail issues the ag industry has experienced. The event will be open to the public.

Hunter Harrison will meet with Hoeven and other officials, as well as agricultural group representatives, at 2 p.m. at the North Central Research Extension Center, 5400 Highway 83 South, Minot.

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., on July 31 announced Harrison had offered to meet in person with shippers and commodity groups. Cramer had suggested CP shared his “appreciation for transparency.” Harrison said a backlog of grain cars in North Dakota was “difficult to measure.” On July 31, the railroad said it was about 1,000 cars away from getting caught up in North Dakota.

The Canadian government in March threatened fines if CP failed to move target levels of grain, so officials and farmers in the U.S. have wondered whether those fines are slowing progress here in the U.S., which isn’t currently implementing fines for late cars.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe executive chairman Matt Rose met with Hoeven, Cramer, and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., in Fargo on Aug. 7. Farm groups — especially specialty crop handlers and processors — reported spotty, late rail service that has cost them market opportunities and maxed out their credit lines.

Studies by North Dakota State University have indicated the rail delays this year have increased basis levels at elevators, costing farmers tens of millions of dollars.

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