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The Conference Room

With Record Harvest, a New Food vs. Fuel Debate

By Gabrielle Karol The Conference Room FOXBusiness

U.S. oil creating problems for farmers?

Farmer Duane Dahlman on the railroad congestion due to increased oil production in the U.S.

Too much of a good thing is creating problems for Midwest farmers, says Illinois Soybean Association farmer Duane Dahlman.

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In a Conference Room interview with FBN’s Jeff Flock, Dahlman said the United States’ sudden increase in oil production is creating unexpected problems for farmers.

How? Dahlman said farmers depend on the railways for transporting their crops. “With the rails being kind of clogged up with oil coming out of the Dakotas, we’re going to have problems moving grain off the terminals to Eastern markets, Southern markets and our huge West coast markets,” explained Dahlman. Adding to the problem is this year’s bumper crops of soybeans and corn, meaning there’s even more grain to move.

“There’s a finite number of rail cars that can run on a rail a day, and with all the tanker cars running, the grain boxes are sitting idle,” said Dahlman. He added that 54% of Illinois’ crop leaves the state – making the congestion particularly troublesome for Illinois farmers.

Oil pipelines might be the answer, said Dahlman, who has two pipelines running through his farm.

“So long as they’re well-planned, well thought out and more or less environmentally friendly … I don’t have a problem with it,” said Dahlman. “I know some people don’t like pipelines, but there’s a balance here and I’m not sure where that balance is right now.”

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