Wheat Farmers Experience Transportation Issues - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Wheat Farmers Experience Transportation Issues

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Most wheat farmers across the state had great yields this year, but they're having some trouble getting the crops to buyers.

Farmers can't seem to ship out their grain when they want because a different industry is using most of the rail transportation.

More and more trains are rolling through North Dakota everyday. The problem is, not many are connected to grain cars.

"BNSF services Western North Dakota, has had the ability to take on this oil industry. There is tremendous growth out there. And competing for the same locomotives and crews has caused the ag industry to be set back," says James Bobb, Grain Division.

Fewer grain trains isn't just a problem for elevators. It's also a big problem for producers.

"It's stretched out my whole winter, there's been things we wanted to do, other projects we wanted to work on, and we can't do any of them because we're sitting in line for hours, up to three hours at a time," says farmer Craig Fisher.

The lines he's sitting in are at the elevator.

"We load at three locations, 110 train cars. We're currently about 900 cars behind, what that equates to in bushels is 3.2 million bushels," says Bobb.

Farmers say they're frustrated, but they can't blame anyone.

"It's very important that people understand that it's not the elevators fault that this is happening. It's not even the railroad's fault. It's growing pains," says Fisher.

Both Bobb and Fisher say they're expecting this problem to continue as long as the oil industry remains strong in North Dakota.

Farmers also say the grain harvest has been above average the past few years and that's also caused a backup in transporting crops.

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