USDA Weekly Grain Transportation Highlights

USDA Weekly Grain Transportation Highlights

North Dakota and Minnesota Waive HOS Rules for Transporting Agricultural Inputs
On May 10, the Governor of North Dakota issued an executive order (effective for 30 days) to waive the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for North Dakota. The waiver applies to trucks transporting dry fertilizer, liquid fertilizer, anhydrous ammonia, pesticides, seed, and other planting and fertilizer resources. On May 16, the Governor of Minnesota signed an analogous HOS waiver order (effective until "rescinded by proper authority" or May 31, whichever is first). The Minnesota waiver applies to drivers transporting fertilizer, anhydrous ammonia, pesticides, and seed to aid spring crop planting in the State. Recent extreme weather in both States has resulted in a delayed and compressed spring planting season and raised demand for agricultural inputs. The waivers ensure the availability of all necessary agricultural inputs.

Canada Proposes To Modify Data Collected from Railroads
On May 6, Transport Canada-the department within the Canadian Government charged with developing transportation policies-proposed to modify the data it collects from Class I railroads. Currently, Transport Canada collects rail service data resembling that of the Surface Transportation Board-such as train speeds by train type, terminal dwell times, and origin dwell times. The Canadian agency also collects waybill data. The proposed rule would require the six major Class I railroads to provide additional service data, including first-mile/last-mile performance, route performance, and asset utilization. The proposal also would align the scope of the service and waybill data collected from railroads to the size of their operations in Canada (i.e., smaller Class I railroads in Canada would have reduced reporting requirements). The proposed changes are open to a 60-day public consultation period.

Corn Drives Weekly Grain Inspections Higher
For the week ending May 19, corn inspections jumped 60-percent from the previous week to about 1.7 million metric tons (mmt). Most of this activity was through the Pacific Northwest, the Mississippi Gulf, and the Texas Gulf. Inspections destined to China, Japan, and Mexico accounted for most of the increase in corn inspections. Corn accounted for 64 percent of total grain inspections for the week. Inspections of wheat and soybeans were down 11 percent and 23 percent, respectively, from the previous week. Inspections of grain (corn, wheat, and soybeans) for export from all major U.S. export regions totaled 2.6mmt (GTR table 16), up 18 percent from the previous week, down 13 percent from last year, and up 1 percent from the 3-year average.



LJ