Brownfield’s Ken Anderson is in Portland, Oregon this week covering the Nebraska Wheat Board’s Wheat Export Tour and Wheat Quality Workshop. Fifteen Nebraskans are participating including producers, grain elevator operators and other wheat industry representatives from across the state. The Wheat Board hosts the trip to give those involved in Nebraska’s wheat industry an opportunity to learn more about various aspects of wheat quality, wheat marketing and exporting in the Pacific Northwest.
About 25% of Nebraska’s wheat is shipped to the PNW. The wheat is shipped by rail and Ken says a lack of rail competition is a growing concern for Nebraska producers and elevator operators. The group heard from Terry Whiteside of the Alliance for Competitive Railroads, of which the Nebraska Wheat Board is a member. That organization is pressing Congress to pass legislation that would protect rail customers from unreasonable freight rates and anti-competitive practices. Whiteside is confident that Congress will take some action in the next legislative session that will help level the playing field for captive shippers—those being served by only one railroad.
(Ken is shown interviewing Terry Whiteside.)