Checkoff study looks at railroad rates for soy


ST. LOUIS — The U.S. railroad industry represents one of the most important methods of transportation for the soy industry, but lately it has presented some challenges to U.S. soybean farmers.

The Soy Transportation Coalition, with funding from the soybean checkoff, published “Railroad Movement of Soybeans and Soy Products,” a comprehensive report that sheds light on the crucial role railroads play in the entire journey from farm to dinner plate.


The volume of soybeans, soybean meal and soybean oil moved by the rail industry; the leading destinations for those products and the revenue and rates associated with those movements were topics investigated by the study.

In particular, the analysis focuses on the volume of soybeans and soy products that are transported at potentially excessive rates, those states whose soybean industry is most dependent on rail and those railroads that transport the highest volumes of soybeans and soy products.

The study found that 43 percent of rail movements of soybeans, or 9.2 million tons, are transported at rates the U.S. Surface Transportation Board would classify as potentially excessive, resulting in a potential overcharge of $120 million in 2007.


The report also shows that revenue among the largest Class I railroads from transporting soybeans and soy products has nearly tripled in 10 years, from $549 million in 1998 to more than $1.5 billion in 2008.

BNSF Railway transports the largest volume of soybeans at 8.8 million tons in 2008. Union Pacific Railroad is the largest originator of soybean meal and soybean oil.


The Soy Transportation Coalition study can be found at


Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox!



We are glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated according to our comment policy.

Receive emails as this discussion progresses.