Oil Traffic may Delay US Fertilizer Shipments

WorldEnergyNews.com
Monday, April 14, 2014
South Dakota Agriculture Secretary Lucas Lentsch

Increasing use of railroads to ship crude oil could disrupt fertilizer cargo this spring as Midwest farmers prepare for planting, U.S. agriculture leaders warn, even as one railroad said on Monday it will take steps to ensure timely deliveries.

The planting season is nearly at hand in states such as the Dakotas and Minnesota, where soybean, wheat and corn growers will lay millions of tonnes of fertilizers like nitrogen and potash that mostly arrive by train.

Those supplies are not stockpiled near the fields and the farmers rely instead on steady deliveries by rail.

"Since we don't store fertilizer, the next very few weeks are incredibly important for South Dakota farmers," said state Agriculture Secretary Lucas Lentsch.

But fertilizer cargo is being waylaid as railroads are clogged by trains carrying crude and other freight and that could ultimately jeopardize the fall crop, farmers have warned lawmakers and other officials.

"If rails are too congested for fertilizer in the weeks ahead, the problem will solve itself because there won't be anything to harvest in the fall," said Dave Andresen of Full Circle Ag, a farm services company in South Dakota.

BNSF Railway Co said on Monday it had assigned more locomotives and train crews to expedite fertilizer deliveries so nutrients can arrive at delivery points on time.

"We understand the shortness of the season and the necessity of timely delivery," the rail operator said in a notice to farm customers.

CHS Inc, a top farm supplier in the Upper Midwest, expects to help meet near-term demand for nutrients but is concerned supplies could dwindle a little later in the growing season.

"In the early weeks of planting, farmers need a recharge and the fertilizer sheds need to be stocked up before then," said Jeff Greseth, the company's head of crop nutrition.

Supply lines have been snarled in part by clearing grain bins of the remainder of last year's crop and recovering from harsh winter weather.

Barges ferrying dry fertilizer on the Mississippi River and into Minnesota have found some waterways frozen over for longer than normal, Greseth said.

"The ice has some deliveries running a week, 10 days late," he said, but an increase in oil-by-rail traffic has also weighed on the train network.

Rail shipments of crude oil have been on the rise in North Dakota's Bakken energy patch, where production is nearing 1 million barrels per day, and roughly 72 percent of that fuel moves on the tracks.

Last week, farmers beseeched federal officials to make sure rail operators such as BNSF and Canadian Pacific Railway Co were giving them enough access to the tracks.

The Surface Transportation Board, a regulatory agency that arbitrates rail disputes, has heard from farmers across the upper Midwest that a shortage of rail cars and delivery delays were endangering their livelihoods.

BNSF executives have said service will improve in the years ahead along with investment and an expected uptick in farm, crude oil and other commodity shipments.

(Reporting By Patrick Rucker in Washington and Julie Ingwersen in Chicago; Editing by Peter Galloway)

Maritime Reporter March 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Energy

United States Submits Formal Plan for Paris Climate Talks

The United States on Tuesday formally submitted its climate change strategy to the United Nations, outlining domestic measures it is taking to achieve up to a 28

India Halts Iran oil Imports Under U.S. Pressure

Oil imports from Iran at 220,000 bpd in year to March 31. U.S. pressured India not to raise annual Iran oil imports. India halted oil imports from Iran for the

BP Terminates GoM Rig Contracts

BP terminated contracts for two deepwater oil drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico as the British oil company slashes its exploration budget due to fallen oil prices.

News

United States Submits Formal Plan for Paris Climate Talks

The United States on Tuesday formally submitted its climate change strategy to the United Nations, outlining domestic measures it is taking to achieve up to a 28

Direct Le Havre to Charleston LCL Import Service

CaroTrans has announced the addition of an expedited Le Havre, France to Charleston LCL import service.    This is the only direct, weekly Le Havre to Charleston LCL service available in the market.

DryShips to Sell its Suezmax Tanker Fleet

DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ: DRYS), has announced  that it has entered into firm sales agreements with entities controlled by the Company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,

Intermodal

Direct Le Havre to Charleston LCL Import Service

CaroTrans has announced the addition of an expedited Le Havre, France to Charleston LCL import service.    This is the only direct, weekly Le Havre to Charleston LCL service available in the market.

Hurricane-Strength Winds Batter European Ports, Traffic

Hurricane-force winds lashed parts of northern Europe on Tuesday, including Germany and the Netherlands, causing flights to be cancelled, snarling some train services and hitting port traffic.

Hamburg Süd Completes CCNI Takeover

Effective 27 March 2015, Hamburg Süd has taken over the container liner activities of Compañía Chilena de Navegación Interoceánica S.A. (CCNI) including the related

Logistics

Direct Le Havre to Charleston LCL Import Service

CaroTrans has announced the addition of an expedited Le Havre, France to Charleston LCL import service.    This is the only direct, weekly Le Havre to Charleston LCL service available in the market.

DryShips to Sell its Suezmax Tanker Fleet

DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ: DRYS), has announced  that it has entered into firm sales agreements with entities controlled by the Company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,

Shipbuilding: Mitsui Delivers Bulk Carrier

Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (MES) completed and delivered a 56,000 dwt type bulk carrier M.V. Desert Osprey (MES Hull No. 1862) at its Chiba Works

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Ship Repair Ship Simulators
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2549 sec (4 req/sec)