On Wednesday, Townhall posted an article about ongoing discussions between the rail unions and companies hoping to avoid a strike.
The article reports:
As the United States barrels toward a Friday deadline for rail unions and companies to reach an agreement to avert a national strike, rail companies are halting shipments in another sign that negotiations might not prevent a nationwide rail shutdown.
This worrying development comes according to “an agricultural association and sources at two grain cooperatives” who spoke to Reuters about the emerging threat to exports and domestic deliveries.
As Reuters explains, the timing of the looming strike is making the situation even worse. “With farmers starting to harvest autumn crops that are shipped to meat and biofuels producers, the shipping disruptions could add to already high inflation,” something that was already shown to be increasing in this week’s inflation reports measuring August costs. “Farmers also plan to add fertilizer to fields after the harvest, and shipments of fertilizer are being delayed,” another ripple effect that would make even a short rail shutdown a significant crisis with lasting impacts.
The article quotes Reuters:
Wayne-Sanderson Farms, a Georgia-based chicken company owned by Cargill Inc and Continental Grain, is working with local corn producers to augment feed supplies if needed during rail disruptions, spokesman Frank Singleton said.
Some rail customers that feed livestock do not have enough soymeal, said Fisher, of the National Grain and Feed Association. In a worst case scenario, that could force some producers to cull animals.
Railroads also ship hexane, a chemical solvent that crushers use to extract oil from soybeans, said Mike Steenhoek, executive director of Soy Transportation Coalition.
“Any slowdown or stoppage of rail service – especially on the eve of harvest – would significantly impact farmers’ ability to meet customer demand – both domestically and internationally,” Steenhoek said.
The article concludes:
The White House does not have a briefing scheduled on Wednesday, but Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tried to assuage concerns about a strike on Tuesday — but failed to explain how, after months of direct involvement by the Biden administration in the labor dispute, had only a “contingency plan” to shift rail freight to planes, boats, and trucks.
This is another attack (planned or unplanned) on America’s food supply. If the strike happens, it might be very difficult for Americans to feed their families this winter. This is NOT normal. We need people in charge in Washington who will keep Americans fed and keep the trains running. Obviously the current crop is not capable of doing that.
Have you read about a looming rail strike anywhere in the mainstream media?