Priorities! Buttigieg is in the Netherlands attending Invictus Games as major fertilizer suppliers say Union Pacific train reductions shrinking supply during crucial planting season.
A leading global manufacturer of fertilizers is warning customers that Union Pacific rail lines’ new railroad-mandated shipping reductions would result in shipment delays during the crucial spring plating season.
Fertilizer producer CF Industries is criticizing Union Pacific’s plan to reduce the number of railcars on UP’s network in order to reduce congestion, saying the measure would result in delays to customers’ shipments during the spring application season.
CF Industries, a Deerfield, Illinois-based manufacturer of hydrogen and nitrogen products, also said it would be unable to accept new sales involving UP (NYSE: UNP) for the foreseeable future.
UP said Monday in a service update that it would be removing 2% to 3% of UP-controlled cars from the network across multiple commodity groups to maintain fluidity and reduce inventories on the system.
UP’s plan to improve network fluidity also includes adding more employees and locomotives.
CF Industries said it would appeal UP’s actions to the federal government and ask that fertilizer shipments be prioritized ahead of the spring season.
The company is going to ask the Surface Transportation Board, which is part of Pete Buttigieg’s Department of Transportation, for an assist in resolving this situation.
“The timing of this action by Union Pacific could not come at a worse time for farmers,” CF Industries CEO Tony Will said in a statement on Thursday. “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. By placing this arbitrary restriction on just a handful of shippers, Union Pacific is jeopardizing farmers’ harvests and increasing the cost of food for consumers.”
….CF Industries said it will ask the Surface Transportation Board to intervene so that fertilizer shipments are prioritized.
“CF Industries’ North American manufacturing network continues to produce at a high rate to meet the needs of customers, farmers and consumers,” Will said. “We urge the federal government to take action to remove these Union Pacific rail shipment restrictions to ensure this vital fertilizer will be able to reach U.S. farmers when and where they need it.”
We wish the fertilizer manufacturer a ton of good luck with that plan. Given that the Transportation Secretary is busy at the Invictus games with his spouse and his presidential ambitions, resolving this issue does not seem like a priority.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will travel to the Netherlands this week to lead a presidential delegation to the Invictus Games, an international sporting competition for wounded veterans, U.S. officials said.
Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten Buttigieg, will be at The Hague for the event, which Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, are also attending. The secretary will be in attendance for the opening ceremony and speak at a welcome event for the U.S. team.
It is the second international trip on behalf of the Biden administration by Buttigieg, who has sought to burnish his foreign policy credentials as he considers whether to run for president again in the coming years. In November, Buttigieg traveled to Glasgow, Scotland, for the COP26 U.N. climate summit.
How worried should Americans be about the potential for food shortages? CNBC recently did a piece concluding that American need not worry.
Despite the prospect of continued rising prices, however, experts don’t expect food shortages to occur in the United States.
“It’s important to realize that the U.S. doesn’t import very much from Ukraine,” explained Joseph Glauber, a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute.
“We may see some shelves that are empty for various kinds of food products like we have for a while now as we recover from the pandemic,” said Scott Irwin, chair of agricultural marketing at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. “But I can say with some real confidence that in the United States, the average consumer is not going to see a shortage of bread because of what’s going on in Ukraine.”
Given the quality of reporting by the American press, and the complete lack of interest in pursuing challenging stories related to infrastructure and economics, I assert that it is very much time to worry. Especially as our leaders are more interested in hanging out with international glitterati and celebrities.DONATE
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