NAWG make requests concerning grain transportation


Rail competition and service for wheat producers were the focus of meetings and lobbying efforts last week in Washington.

National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) President Wayne Hurst and Second Vice President Bing Von Bergen traveled to D.C. to attend the executive committee meeting of the Alliance for Rail Competition (ARC), a key coalition working to improve rail conditions for wheat producers and other shippers.

While in town, they also met with a number of Senators and their staff members on Wednesday to promote rail transportation legislation and to advocate for proportional cuts government-wide in the FY2012 budget process.

The group asked the Senators to cosponsor S. 158, the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act 2011, and S. 49, the Railroad Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2011.

NAWG also joined a group of a dozen agriculture groups last week submitting comments about competition in the rail industry to the Surface Transportation Board (STB), the railroads’ regulator.
In the eight-page submission, the groups described the nature and structure of the agricultural markets and competitiveness issues that continue to plague farmers and other ag actors.

The groups specifically highlighted a decade-old private arbitration system established by the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) for its constituents and the major railroads, which could be a model for the future public or private arbitration systems.

Source: National Association of Wheat Growers