The slow rail service threatening the livelihood of farmers in the Upper Midwest has gotten better in recent weeks, but at the Forest River Bean Co., the railcars ordered from BNSF or Canadian Pacific are still two to three months behind, said the company president.
A Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway weekly report on late cars released March 28 alludes to “green shoots” of improvement, but contains results that fell further behind for the fourth week in a row for the four-state area. It also alludes to impending issues with the winter wheat harvest coming in June.
Train delays have been chronic all winter at Agassiz Valley and across the Midwest. Engines are running five to 10 days late, creating an increasingly costly backup. Farmers can’t haul grain from their farm storage to the elevator because the grain can’t move to market.
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