Last Thursday, agriculture organizations gathered in front of the Surface Transportation Board at a public hearing on rail service issues. They claim more rail assets are shifting to the oil industry.
Minnesota soybean farmer Lance Peterson told the board that with more than 50 percent of U.S. soybeans exported at a value of $28 billion in 2013 many in the world rely on U.S. soybean farmers to meet demand. He says farmers rely on trucks, rail and barges to move products to those markets.
Chris Bliley with Growth Energy says the price of ethanol spiking is not because of a lack of ethanol supply or production, but because they can't get transportation. He says many plants are closed because they've reached their storage capacity.
The Surface Transportation Board held the meeting after evaluating the rail industry's performance metrics, they say they are concerned with some of the systems and wanted to give an opportunity to report on service issues.