FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 202-314-3108
WASHINGTON (April 17, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) today praised an April 15 decision by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) that ordered BNSF Railway (BNSF) and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP) to direct all necessary railcars and locomotive power to move fertilizer into position to avoid planting delays this spring.
The STB held a public hearing on April 10, 2014, at its office in Washington, D.C., to provide interested persons the opportunity to report on recent service problems in the U.S. rail network, to hear from rail industry executives on plans to address their service problems, and to discuss additional options to improve service.
“Farmers have faced prolonged delays in transporting agricultural commodities by BNSF and CP,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “This action will ensure timely delivery of much-needed fertilizer for farmers in the upper Midwest.”
The STB decision requires the railroads to report by April 18 their plans to deliver fertilizer shipments for spring planting and to provide weekly status reports over the next six weeks regarding delivery of fertilizer.
“This is a step in the right direction to make sure that farmers have the tools they need by planting season,” Johnson said. “I am pleased that the STB is now requiring the railroads to report on their fertilizer delivery performance. I urge the board to follow Tuesday’s action by addressing the equally serious issue of grain shipment delays.”
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.