Rural Matters

Rural Matters: Rail Access Vital for Thriving Ag Economy 

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The recent closure of rail gateway borders at Eagle Pass and El Paso, TX by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agency sent shockwaves through the agricultural industry—and all industries. While the issue was fortunately resolved within just a few days, we want to use this opportunity to highlight just how important an efficient rail system is for Landus, our farmer-members, and customers all across North America. 

The significance of rail access for Landus cannot be overstated. The Landus team ships nearly one hundred carloads of grain (corn and soybeans) and approximately ten carloads of SoyPlus® (livestock feed ingredients) to Mexico each week. The closure of commercial border crossings disrupts the seamless flow of agricultural products, raising concerns about the ability to fulfill critical customer contracts. This disruption not only affected Landus but also has a ripple effect on the broader agricultural supply chain. If the closure had persisted and a backlog of shipments continued to grow, we may have faced the possibility of not fulfilling established contracts, faced significant fees associated with redirecting railcars, and absorbed costs of reducing process rates at our facilities. 

Amidst these challenges, Landus acknowledges and appreciates the proactive leadership demonstrated by the entire Iowa congressional delegation and Iowa Governor, Kim Reynolds. Their swift response and advocacy to urge the reopening of the commercial border rail crossings demonstrates a commitment to safeguarding the interests of Iowa agribusinesses and Iowa farmers. 

Although this threat was quickly resolved, it highlights the importance of communicating with our governmental officials: 

  • The grains, livestock, feed, and other commodities produced in the Midwest are part of the global agricultural economy. 
  • Farmers depend on efficient transportation networks to export their products far and wide. 
  • Closure or disruption in any of those systems undermines the resilience and reliability of these supply chains, potentially leading to cascading effects. 
  • We must maintain the integrity, access, and operations of critical supply chains. 

Working together on rural matters.