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Federal board orders fertilizer delivery plans

A federal regulatory agency on Tuesday ordered two major railroads to report their plans to ensure fertilizer shipments for spring planting.

The Surface Transportation Board is requiring BNSF Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway to present their plans by Friday. The railroads are also required to provide the board with weekly status reports, including delivery data and the number of cars associated with agricultural deliveries.

BNSF also announced Monday that it would dedicate unit trains and assign crews to delivering fertilizer.

“STB’s decision to require railroads to have a plan for delivery of fertilizer to farmers is an acknowledgment that the window for planting is narrow and timely delivery is vital to a good harvest,” Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said in a statement.

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., added: “While this may help farmers get the fertilizer they need, there are still unacceptable delays for shipping grain and other products to market.”