Railroad Restrictions on Fertilizer Exacerbate Coming Food Shortages

(Joshua PaladinoHeadline USA) The Union Pacific Railroad Company informed fertilizer companies this week that they must cut railroad shipments by 20 percent, a restriction that could worsen expected food shortages.

CF Industries, a fertilizer company, said on Thursday that Union Pacific will ship less fertilizer in an effort to clear the tracks for ethanol and grain shipments, the Associated Press reported.

Grain processors and ethanol factories have had to cut production because America’s rails cannot transport their products fast enough. Farmers said that railroads have not had enough space to ship their grain, either.

“The timing of this action by Union Pacific could not come at a worse time for farmers,” CF Industries CEO Tony Will said. “Not only will fertilizer be delayed by these shipping restrictions, but additional fertilizer needed to complete spring applications may be unable to reach farmers at all.”

Union Pacific said it will hire more employees, shift workers to understaffed areas, increase the number of locomotives, and reduce railroad congestion.

CF Industries said shipments delays will affect farmers in IowaIllinoisKansasNebraskaTexas and California, which receive fertilizer from the company’s plants in Louisiana and Iowa.

The company said Union Pacific placed shipment restrictions on 30 other companies.

Railroad delays have arrived as farmers face the year’s peak planting weeks.

Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., warned about a “global food shortage” due to the Russo-Ukrainian War, which has ravished a major grain-exporting nation, and to slowdowns on American railways, Just the News reported.

Scott said Americans will see higher food costs, but he is “concerned about the lower-income countries not having anything to eat.”

Low food yields in America could harm the rest of the world.

“If that fertilizer doesn’t get there, then you’re talking about lower production inside the United States, which means we will actually have less export as well,” Scott said.

He said Congress must question railroad companies and help them improve their service.