The furious pace of energy exploration in North Dakota is creating a crisis for farmers whose grain shipments have been held up by a vast new movement of oil by rail, leading to millions of dollars in agricultural losses and slower production for breakfast cereal giants like General Mills.

The backlog is only going to get worse, farmers said, as they prepared this week for what is expected to be a record crop of wheat and soybeans…

Although the energy boom in North Dakota has led to a 2.8 percent unemployment rate, the lowest in the nation, the downside has been harder times for farmers who have long been mainstays of the state’s economy. Agriculture was North Dakota’s No. 1 industry for decades, representing a quarter of its economic base, but recent statistics show that oil and gas have become the biggest contributors to the state’s gross domestic product.

Railroads have long been the backbone of North Dakota’s transportation system and the most dependable way for farmers to move crops — to ports in Portland, Ore., Seattle and Vancouver, from which the bulk of the grain is shipped across the Pacific to Asia; and to East Coast ports like Albany, from which it is shipped to Europe.

But reports the railroads filed with the federal government show that for the week that ended Aug. 22, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway — North Dakota’s largest railroad…had a backlog of 1,336 rail cars waiting to ship grain and other products. Another railroad, Canadian Pacific, had a backlog of nearly 1,000 cars.

For farmers, the delays often mean canceled orders from food giants that cannot wait weeks or months for the grain they need to make cereal, bread and an array of other products. “They need to get this problem fixed,” Mr. Hejl said. “I’m losing money, and my customers are turning to other sources as a result. I don’t know how much longer we can survive like this.”

This month, federal Agriculture Department officials said they were particularly concerned that Canadian Pacific would not be able to fulfill nearly 30,000 requests from farmers and others for rail cars before October. As a result, North Dakota’s congressional delegation and lawmakers in Minnesota and South Dakota have called on the Surface Transportation Board, which oversees the nation’s railroads, to step up pressure on the companies.

Farmers and agriculture groups say rail operators are clearly favoring the more lucrative transport of oil. Rail shipments of crude oil in North Dakota have surged since 2008, and the state now produces about a million barrels a day. About 60 percent of that oil travels by train from the Bakken oil fields in the western part of the state to faraway oil refiners…

If you had to choose which is more important in your life, which is it? Grain for domestic consumption and export – or oil for domestic consumption and export?

Thanks, Mike

  1. bobbo, we all except for those who don't, think with words, and flower with ideas says:

    Gee, if they can’t schedule and honor their long term commitment contracts, maybe they should switch to net neutrality?

    Spidey tells me there is more unsaid here than revealed…..maybe if not outright lies, some manufactured exaggeration for some other purpose?

    Hmmmmmmmm……. drone delivery for baked goods?

    • Spidey tells me there is more unsaid here than revealed>>Yes, he forgot to blame Bush.

      Just wait till our fearless President hears about this! He won’t rest till he gets to the bottom of it, and holds the right people accountable.

      Just like he did in Benghazi, the IRS targeting of conservatives, Obamacare website fiasco, the Fort Hood Shooting, VA Scandal.

      Just as he did about the 2008 collapse. Don’t you remember all those Wall Streeter 1% in orange jump suits.

      Yea!, that was the day.

      Those crony capitalists, Big Pharma, Health Insurance Cos, all were put out of business!

      Just as soon as he hears about this, he will take care of it.

      First, undocumented Democrats must be allowed in, they’re Democrats after all!

      • Obama was daily briefed on the rise of ISIS, and so acted detached golfing and fundraising to delay taking any action against his buddies says:

        They also divert the Border Patrol from prevent CARTEL/ISIS from incrusions…

        What a coincidence, the people Fast and Furious armed well, is now employed by ISIS to aid infiltration….

        While the Border is overwhelmed changing diapers and feeding kids…

        Isn’t is odd how this, coincidentally, coincides with the rise of ISIS,whom we supplied until they killed our Ambassador in Benghazi?

        Evidently, losing MORSI in Egypt was only a minor setback…

      • MikeN says:

        The Feds will even be advertising in Mexico for illegal immigrants who were deported to come back.

  2. Marc Pugner says:

    This reminds me of the former Soviet Union in the years immediately after the fall of communism begging for humanitarian aid to feed its people. The problem wasn’t that they didn’t have the food, the problem was that they had silos full of rotting potatoes because they couldn’t distribute them.

  3. gracie says:

    One group of Republicans screwing another group of Republicans. Moneybags at 10 paces.

    • Shark Tank is Good says:

      Meanwhile, what are Democrats hard at work doing?

      Oh yeah… finding ways to tax the energy out of working risk takers to buy votes from non-working free loaders.

      Say goodnight, Gracie.

    • dade0 says:

      YaY! US Party loyalists! A few more like you guys and we can have a proper civil war sooner than later.


      • Shark Tank is Good says:

        You’ve got to let the Democrats know their wrong.

        They’ve been blinded by the horns of the unicorn fairies that believe money grows on trees.

  4. Pardot Kynes says:

    Wow! That is a nice duct — is it an Arrakis Sand Trout {little maker} tank?

  5. g says:

    Reading the title led me directly to think about Atlas Shrugged ….

  6. Tim says:

    “”domestic consumption

    Only if you hate Americans.

    If that’s monsanto’s abomination BT corn then we really ought not to be eating it. Now that some CDC autism fraud has leaked out, it is more important than ever to point out *healthy gut* is required for *healthy brain*. Our guts are more and more ulcerated from constant intake of the Bacillus thurgensis; And, once this abhorrant protien is incorprated into our cells, we now continually produce the toxin. And surely, just eating animals that have grown up on it transferres some of the aberrant genetics.

    Obama should give out some grants so Dynergy Inc can build a solar array with that Silo as the focal point — you know? show Duke energy how to get with the program??

    “”Duke Energy announced plans Monday to exit the commercial electricity generation business in the Midwest…


    Obama should give out some grants so Dynergy Inc can build a solar array with that Silo as the focal point — you know? show Duke energy how to get with the program??

    obligatory popcorn scene

  7. NewFormatSux says:

    Of course liberals like to highlight something wrong with oil production, because their religion is against it.

    Perhaps they should build more pipelines to get the oil out, rather than take hundreds of millions from an ‘environmentalist’ who is invested in another pipeline.

    And Warren Buffett makes money off train shipments of oil.

  8. Obama always defeats a straw man in every speech, because he is a manly defeater of straw men! says:

    Leftist misdirection, its the failure to allow the Keystone Pipeline, forcing the use of rail to transport the oil, that is causing the backlog.

    • spsffan says:

      Except that, the part of the Keystone pipeline serving North Dakota has been in service for years now.

      The extremely fast, unprecedented, huge increase in oil production has overwhelmed the rail industry. And, it’s not just outgoing oil. Lots of incoming supplies for the fracking process come in by rail.

      You just can’t build either pipelines or rail capacity overnight. Both take time, and lots of money, and a reasonable expectation that the business will be around long enough and will pay enough to make it worthwhile.

      • Tim says:

        I guess ‘america’ shouldn’t have shot it’s wad on frivolous drug wars, fat wars, seatbelt wars {which required suspension of posse comitatus} and the biggest thing AGW, which will prevent the solution of decentralized farming for feeding AND fuel.

      • EVERYTHING has turned to shit while Obama watched approvingly! says:

        The Keystone pipeline is already laid except small connections

        The Obama regime only shows competence when harming the economy via regulation and non enforcement of immigration law, overwhelming the welfare system

        Or backing Jihadism and delaying any action against it…

        When we have another 9-11 event, will the low information voter blame Obama (rightly), or demand the rest of our Constitution be ignored and make Obama “President for life?”

  9. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and student of Real Politik says:

    There “should be” an interesting story beneath this all: who gets RR Carriage and who doesn’t and “exactly why.” I have the image of the food riots in Mexico of a few years ago caused by USA investment in Corn based ethanol raising the cost of tacos to Pedro.

    So…yes…who’s ox gets gored? What should control: market or regulation…all to who is harmed and who benefits. Too contentious I suppose……but ……… basically ………aren’t trains almost “unlimited” in what they can haul and the issue is the types of cars that are available? Grain and Oil being mutually exclusive?

    IDK==just had a Marklin set as a kiddie. Hmmmmm….didn’t Russia prohibit import of USA wheat last week or so in retaliation for Obama doing nothing? Maybe BIG WHEAT simply lost its customer?

    We’ll never know…….but everything IS connected.

    • jpfitz says:

      I’m thinking the same regarding Putin given a time out, no corn for you Russia.

      On another note why not put the corn or oil into mobile oil burning trucks. We have highways in ND, why not fill the roads with truckers, the out of work truckers make out and we get to burn more fuel, everybody wins, even the meth and speed dealers win.

  10. Rub Me! says:

    Wrong question!

    In case you didn’t notice, there’s supposed to be something called the “Keystone pipeline” that a lot of oil companies want built which, if built, won’t be too far away.

    So the longer the oil companies have to wait on Washington (and voters) to approve this pipeline the more economic damage it will create when they “have to” divert grain shipments in favor of oil. So it really sounds to me like this is simply a political move to get that pipeline built.

    • bobbo, the Climate Change ALARMIST who doesn't want his kiddies boiled to death as the Oilgarchs are currently Hell Bent on doing, and the Science Denying Far Right are ignorantly supporting says:

      I don’t think its going to be built. The science is against it and Obama knows it.

      He’s in an ill temper as a lame duck and not playing to the public as he did first terms.

      He’s fed up and going to act in the best LONG TERM interests of USA, instead of the short term political interests of the great majority.

      Fingers crossed: 70% of the known carbon resources HAVE TO BE KEPT IT THE GROUND—or we are all going to die. It only makes sense to dig up the cleanest of such pollutants, rather than the dirtiest of them all.

      Ha, ha……it would be fun to see this play out across the worlds geo-political interests. It ain’t going to be pretty.

      • Tim says:

        “”going to act in the best LONG TERM interests of USA

        You don’t really believe that way, do you??

        I mean, damn, nigga!

      • Tim says:

        I’d agree that mining needs to be done without destroying whole mountains… fill them with expanding foam, maybe??

        But, by dirty, you mean CO2, don’t you?? My head still hurts weather a new 1.28 gallon toilet or an old five-gallon one with a biofilm all inside it…

        (1.) CO2 is not a pollutant.
        (2.) stop shitting in your water no matter the volume — lower volumes equal higher velocity which just atomizes everything so some of it is on your toothbrush — which is why you need more floride to not notice illness everytime you prepare for a stay-over bible-study.

        • jpfitz says:

          Here is one solution to atomized feces attaching to your tooth brush, close the lid before flushing, no more mercy flushing.

      • DSM-5 says:

        Obsama’s out to lunch, dude.

      • Albert Einstein says:

        “going to act in the best LONG TERM interests of USA”

        A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of the truth.

  11. NewFormatSux says:

    The proposed Keystone XL pipeline doesn’t pass thru North Dakota. There is an existing Keystone pipeline that goes horizontally in Canada then south thru North Dakota.

  12. a modest pondering from a paranoid white male says:

    I’m getting a headache.

    It’s two days since the bombshell whistleblower official statement of fraud at CDC and a causative relationship {if this were ‘coincidence’ then it would not have had a signal with the excluded group included} between autism and the mmr vaccine and not a peep from MSM. Not RT, not Aljazeera, not Fox, not MSNBC, not NBC, not CBS, not ABC, not BBC. Nota.

    Well, at least CNN did sort of make an attempt at ‘addressing’ the issue and should be commended for it —

    Good work, CNN. You’re upholding your reputation as the most trusted name in serial lying.

    Oh. And not Drudge. But that may be because his portfolio is Merck-heavy. Either that, or there really are currently military in all these news outlets busy adjusting their scopes and proofreading their scoops.

    It’s as if they just don’t have time because of all the promoting of ebola vaccines and ZMapp…

    This makes me want to start connecting some dots:

    Aug 26, 2013
    As a condition of registration, the EPA is requiring the company to generate additional data

    Dec 1, 2012
    Court Rules in NRDC’s Favor to Limit Nanosilver in Clothing

    Jan 15, 2014
    “”EPA’s fast-track approval process for pesticides raises health concerns

    March 31, 2014
    “”US EPA bans Sale of Company’s unregistered nano-Silver Products

    Aug 18, 2014
    Ebola: FG withdraws approval of Nano Silva for treatment

    “”Chukwu made this known when he received the U.S Ambassador to Nigeria

    ““The experimental drug, Nano Silver did not meet the requirements of the National Health Research Ethics Code.



    Did anyone know US GOV/CDC hold a patent on ebola?

    “”On July 9, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals in Canada announced it had received an initial $1.5 million investment from America’s Monsanto, with tens of millions more to follow.

    “”The US military is paying the company $140 million to test drug treatments for Ebola.

    “”the patent also claims exclusive ownership of most, if not all, Ebola treatments, tests, experiments, vaccines and drugs.

    “”‘This patent may help explain why Ebola victims are being transported to the United States and put under the medical authority of the CDC. These patients are carrying valuable intellectual property assets

    Enter ACTA:
    “”an international legal framework for targeting counterfeit goods, generic MEDICINES and copyright infringement

    If a treatment, then manufacturing your own colloidal silver would be a crime??

    US military
    GMO tobacco

    Monsantos’ business model has always been — We contaminate it, We own it. Hmm????

    Damn, I hope that headache is only eyestrain…

    • bobbo, the Climate Change ALARMIST who doesn't want his kiddies boiled to death as the Oilgarchs are currently Hell Bent on doing, and the Science Denying Far Right are ignorantly supporting says:

      Vaccines cause autism?

      I think you posted on this recently and I just took it as your best but still feeble attempt to hook up with Jenny McCarthy. I could sing that tune for as long as it took.

      Yea…….it, or some component of it (Like Mercury?) could increase the chance of autism. The amount of poison in our environment is having all kinds of bad health consequences for we humans. We live longer too which is only more time to accumulate the slings and arrows of misfortune.

      I’d still take an overall statistical approach to the issue: who dies sooner: with or without vaccines.

      So many issues.

      • Tim says:

        “”who dies sooner: with or without vaccines.

        Funny you should ask —

        “”the US has by far the highest first-day death rate in the industrialized world. The report states, “An estimated 11,300 newborn babies die each year in the United States on the day they are born. This is 50 percent more first-day deaths than all other industrialized countries combined.”

        “”American children under the age of 5 are far more likely to die than their counterparts in other industrialized countries. The US under-5 mortality rate is 7.5 per 1,000, a rate on par with Bosnia, Herzegovina, Qatar, and Slovakia.

        ^^ many of those vaccines on the schedule are ‘multiple protection’ and booster shots. I *think* the equivalent number of single injections would be 87. — this link seems to count the three-in-ones as one. Most other countries, then, depending on the combos of single/3 in actuality is about 17 pricks and at later ages.

        The US will do squirrly things based on socioeconomic background as well — like trying to give newborn a HEP-B day one {if considered high risk} instead of six months.

        Did you watch the videos?

        • Tim says:

          And I was astonished by this…‘why would you do this, if your “”principal concern is to protect children from serious infectious disease? Why would you remove an option from parents who are legitimately concerned about the safety of MMR?’ And her answer was extraordinary. She said to me, ‘if we allow parents the option of single vaccines, it would destroy our MMR program.’ In other words, her principal concern seemed to be full protection of the MMR program and not protection of children.”

        • Bill Gates says:

          Until we get near to zero the temperature will continue to rise

          Now, if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent

          btw, i hate blacks

        • bobbo, the Climate Change ALARMIST who doesn't want his kiddies boiled to death as the Oilgarchs are currently Hell Bent on doing, and the Science Denying Far Right are ignorantly supporting says:

          No… didn’t read. When I read, I have questions and I want to post/comment. When the subject is OT there won’t be as many contributers as when the subject is OT…so..I’ll just wait for the Golden Days of Yore when 2-3 topics per day were posted here so that hose passing by could find something of interest.

          Fun to see the science go back and forth on the issue. What is a Man of Science to do?

          Tough to be a parent when you don’t trust nobody!

          • Tim says:

            Ohh, at least watch this short report — It has some outstanding stillshots of drippy Tuskeegee kids:


            Carlos Mendia might say

            “If you are a Dee
            And you’re doctor’s a Dee
            Then all your kids will be Dee de de

            A brief techical summary by the much Maligned {by Orac, at least} Dr. Hooker

            Aug 29

          • Tim says:

            a bunch of med students asking how to strong-arm the anti-vax parents:

            As a professional? You’d just say that in your professional opinion, you haven’t seen anything in your opinion that makes you skeptical of vaccines and then talk about their benefits(if these are your beliefs, they are mine but obviously not trying to tell someone what to think).

            As a friend? Just not worth talking about, you’re just going to piss someone off, either you or them. If you aren’t acting in a medical capacity I’d just ignore the issue. I’ve found over time it’s what you have to do, same thing with ” the gov’t has the cure to cancer, they just don’t want to release it,” and similar talks.

            As a friend, I’d tell them to f*ck off and keep their disease-ridden family away from mine.


            Yup, I refuse to be friends with anyone with anti-vax views and have “lost” a few friends because of it (same thing with YECs).


            a male walked out of our office last week after coming in with his anti-vax mom (who only vaccinates because of school requirements) saying, “I don’t know why I have to put poison in my body.”

            GRRR. One of our peds clinics has a sign in every room informing parents they more than likely will be refused service if they don’t vaccinate. Good going, 🙂


            I think pediatricians and schools should be allowed to turn away students whose parents refuse to vaccinate. Period. No religious exception to try to pull a fast one either.

            Yeah, a-vaxxers run the entire gamut of education and political ideology.

            Orac has a takedown of the article, there are some epidemiologists in the comments who do a much better job with the statistics link

            I don’t think silence and eye-rolling is quite the answer. Some moms want something, anything to fend off their antivaxer acquaintances.


            The assumption that antivaxxers tend to be religious nutterbutters is incorrect. Actually it is left-wing psychos who are more prone to believing daytime TV Hacks, pseudoscientists on the internet, and then mutually reinforce their false sense of superiority among themselves


            It’s all rooted in the same tradition of anti-intellectualism, though. Whether from right-wing, rights-asserting folks or anti-science, all-natural folks the fundamental value perspective is pretty much the same.


            It’s anti-intellectualism because it’s belief in folklore rather than established science (within which there is absolutely zero controversy). Dr. Oz is much the same way – it’s anti-intellectualism couched in a pair of scrubs.

            ^^Perhaps this kind of smugness belongs in AGW circles??


        • Tim says:

          Rob Shnieder letter to Gov. Brown and more CDC fraud:

          “”This policy of one size fits all Vaccine schedule for every child is as absurd as giving the same eye prescription glasses to every child.

          “”There is also the CDC’s continual citing of a study done by one of the FBI’s Most Wanted Criminals, Paul Thorsen. Despite stealing the grant money given to him by the U.S., his study is still cited, as though it was valid (his study said there was no link between thimerosal and autism).

          Still nothing on Drudge — must be blackmailed {NSA}, or something.

      • Lt. Lois Einhorn says:

        eww! I’m after Ace’s cocateau

  13. bobbo, the Climate Change ALARMIST who doesn't want his kiddies boiled to death as the Oilgarchs are currently Hell Bent on doing, and the Science Denying Far Right are ignorantly supporting says:

    Timmy–what a guy. Perhaps the smartest person regularly posting here….I mean….who can tell what SNOT is?

    It amuses me you reject AGW and embrace Anti-Vax. Add a belief in……. what would be appropriate?===>Colon Cleansing, and you’d have a perfect trifecta:

    ……….A Man Devolving………Using the tools of science to be anti-science. Hmmmmm, why and where the wrong turn?

    I stopped watching your linked video at 30 secs in. “This is the truth…….” Ha, ha. Always hits my BS nerve.

    Simple Stats: showing autism rates hitting .5% of the population or about 1.8 Million people or every ONE out of 200. That does sounds horrible. How come I don’t “perceive” autistic kiddies everywhere?==>if indeed what I see at the Mall is not just exactly what I am seeing? Severe autism to point of political office but also including just interested in sports?

    But I dither. TO THINK: you must evaluate BOTH sides of the issue….and as many other sides as worth the time.

    IN A PERFECT WORLD…you have vax’s that only cure the disease with no side effects.

    IN THE REAL WORLD…you make the best choice you can: .5% affected by the VAX………compared to 80-95% affected by no vaccine.

    You see the difference?


    Just like Anthropogenic Global Warming.

    What do you do with your brain besides masturbate with it?

    • Tim says:

      Those look like hocky sticks. They’re probably hiding a decline somewhere…

      This one IS very interesting to me though..

      because of this:

      “”On May 18, 1994, the FDA completed its evaluation of the Flavr Savr tomato and the use of APH(3′)II, concluding that the tomato “is as safe as tomatoes bred by conventional means” and “that the use of aminoglycoside 3′-phosphotransferase II is safe for use as a processing aid in the development of new varieties of tomato, rapeseed oil, and cotton intended for food use.” It was first sold in 1994, and was only available for a few years before production ceased in 1997. Calgene made history, but mounting costs prevented the company from becoming profitable, and it was eventually acquired by Monsanto Company.

      there’s an intricate relationship between brain/gut and a healthy gut and healthy gut flora/fauna is required for many nutrients to be manufactured — one very important one would be the B-vitamine, Inositol.

      I cut the Gordian knot of research and just blow shit out my ass because GMO and Roundup are ‘soft-kill’ weapons and this is being intentionally done to everybody intentionally.
      … and the crowd went wild…

      • bobbo, the Climate Change ALARMIST who doesn't want his kiddies boiled to death as the Oilgarchs are currently Hell Bent on doing, and the Science Denying Far Right are ignorantly supporting says:

        Heh, heh==my point still is: not to look at singular issues in a vacuum.

        You can’t say vax’s are safe or not without comparing them to other alternatives including doing nothing.

        Same with GMO

        and everything else under the Sun.

        • Tim says:

          In most instances, with most diseases doing nothing is far superior.

          There. Happy??

          • Tim says:

            let me qualify that just a bit — …Unless, one is tightly packed in close quarters like herds of cattle.

        • Tim says:

          Polio was already dropping like a rock after cessation of DDT before the vaccine came online.

          the vaccine introduced HIV and SV40 monkey kidney virus.

          SV40 is prevelant in many cancers — 60% mesothelioma is SV40 yet it’s blamed soley on asbestos..

          An Immunologist that was there explaining it…

          The CDC actually made a recent public announcement that 98 million americans need to go get screened because of a newly discovered SV40 contaminate.

          • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:


            Timmmmmaaayyy!==You crack me up. I don’t know anything but you just pegged my BS meter. The stench of Science Denying is all over that. Parts of it could be true, mostly cherry picked and exaggerated…………
            …………………………….or I could be all wrong…….

            …………and modern medicine is Hokum?

            …Ha, ha…….. but I dither.

          • Tim says:

            “”60% mesothelioma is SV40 yet it’s blamed soley on asbestos..

            ^^ that’s less than awkward. Adams said it right:

            “””It is said (that) mesothelioma is a result of asbestos exposure, but research reveals that 50 percent of the current mesotheliomas being treated no longer occur due to asbestos but rather the SV40 virus contained in polio vaccination.”


        • Tim says:

          “”not to look at singular issues in a vacuum.

          Ok. Here’s several issues all neatly graphed together in this tweaky .pdf

          Tell me if you think you can see a signal??

          (hint: it’s a little stronger than Brownian-bouncing around on the noise floor, so I’m pretty sure your up to it)

  14. jimbo says:

    Back in the ’60’s, N.D. farmers were getting squeezed by the trains, the train companies said “they didn’t have enough cars” so they’d jack up the price of transporting the grain, and all the while the local ag magazines would have photos snapped by farmers showing scores of unused boxcars sitting on unused spurs of track.


Bad Behavior has blocked 18671 access attempts in the last 7 days.