Star of the West mitigating potential rail strike impacts

A grain originator says his company is preparing for a potential rail strike in the coming weeks.

Cody Harris tells Brownfield while he’s hopeful a resolution can be reached by labor unions, pressure on grain movement is building.

“It seems like lead times are a little longer than usual, we’ve been able to adapt to that recently, but the added pressure definitely heightens a little bit of concern about moving products,” he says.

Star of the West Milling Company has locations in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and New York and heavily relies on rail.  Harris says they’re making plans to adapt if movement stops.

“We’re trying to move a little grain a little quicker than usual right now just to kind of mitigate a little bit of that risk,” he says.

He says having local end users in Michigan has helped mitigate storage and logistical challenges.

“We have a good deal of end users here in Michigan as far as ethanol plants as far as corn or we’ve got bean processing plants, especially with the new one up in Ithaca—the Zealand crushing facility, that definitely take some burden off of the storage,” he explains.

Harris says the pace of harvest has been better than usual this season which has been positive during a time of uncertainty.

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