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The Surface Transportation Board (STB) on Tuesday rendered a decision directing BNSF Railway Co. and Canadian Pacific to provide their plans for ensuring delivery of fertilizer shipments for spring planting of U.S. crops. The board must receive the reports from the Class Is by tomorrow.The STB also directed BNSF and CP to provide weekly status reports over the next six weeks, beginning April 25, regarding the delivery of fertilizer on their respective networks. The weekly reports must include fertilizer delivery data by state, indicate the number of cars shipped or received that are billed to agricultural destinations, and the number of cars placed. "This directive is intended to focus each carrier’s attention on these very time-sensitive deliveries while the carriers simultaneously work to address the extensive service and car supply issues for all commodities and to get those commodities moving on the rail network," STB members said in their decision. "The board continues to closely monitor rail service metrics data for all movements and consider other efforts to address rail service issues."BNSF earlier this week cited the measures it plans to take to increase velocity on fertilizer shipments and improve the efficiency of sets in fertilizer service.Consumers United for Rail Equity (CURE) officials hailed the STB's decision to require the reports."It's in the best interest of all parties to ensure that farmers have all the necessary inputs to produce a crop during the upcoming growing season," said CURE President Steve Sharp, a principal engineer for the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp.
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