Rail Car Shortage "Critical" - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Rail Car Shortage "Critical"

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The shortage of rail cars for North Dakota's ag industry is critical.

That's how the general manager of SunPrairie Grain in Minot describes the squeeze being put on farmers and grain elevators.

Brad Haugeberg says his company is currently waiting on nearly two thousand rail cars that are overdue - some for as long as five months.

He says the oil industry's demands on rail cars has hurt agriculture.

Haugeberg says the delay for rail cars is so severe right now, it could impact farmers at harvest time.

(Brad Haugeberg, SunPrairie Grain Manager) "That's what really scares us is that the backlog is so bad this year that we could potentially enter harvest full. And the farmers don't have enough storage for crops and so what's he going to do? And so we're advising farmers that you may need to look at some capacity somewhere - Quonsets or whatever because we may be jammed up going in."

Haugeberg says when a load of rail cars shows up at a local elevator, there's a rush of farmers dumping truckloads of grain at the elevators, trying to free-up storage space on their farms.

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