Union Pacific is ready to haul the harvest. U-P’s Mark Davis says the railroad has been making plans to have enough cars and locomotives ready to haul the crops Midwestern farmers are bringing in. He says they were a little behind during the wheat harvest, but are gearing up for corns and soybeans to come in, and the railroad man says farmers are telling them they expect “another bin-buster year.” Last year was a record harvest in areas that got enough rain, and while commodity prices have trended low in recent weeks, Davis says a change could bring enough business to swamp all transportation systems. A lot of last year’s harvest is still stored in elevators and though the railroad’s as ready as it can be, if the price “pops” a little and everyone tries to sell and move this year’s harvest as well as last year’s stored grain, it’s going to tax the entire transportation network. Analysts have said the devastation of Hurricane Katrina will mean in the long run the Port of New Orleans will be rebuilt better than ever — but this year there won’t be any way to offload barges there onto ocean-going cargo ships that take the harvest to foreign countries.
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