In the United States some areas are enjoying record grain harvests (sorry Lester Brown and WorldWatch Institute) and that’s an enormous problem. You see there is so much grain being pumped into the system, it is overloading the ability of railroads to transport all the grain.
An Oct. 26 report in USA Today reported Bill Sebree of NIK Marketing as saying, “It is a terrible mess, the worst we’ve ever seen. We are running 30 days behind schedule for guaranteed grain trains to arrive and we have loaded trains sitting still for up to two weeks. Elevators are losing up to $30,000 on each train that’s late.”
Ironically the upshot could be extremely low prices for grain in the United States. The grain is intended for sale in markets abroad. If it doesn’t get to international markets soon, other nations will turn to alternative suppliers. Farmers then will be forced to either hold on to the grain or sell it domestically. That could mean extremely low grain prices for U.S. consumers.
This whole mess is an excellent example of how sometimes there can be plentiful food but distribution snafus end up making it unavailable to those who otherwise would purchase it.
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