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Bob Hoff 11/14/05 Record spud yields; upset with BNSF
by Bob Hoff, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: November 14, 2005

Washington Ag November 14, 2005 Although Washington potato growers cut back acreage this year by four percent the Agricultural Statistics Service says they harvested a bigger crop than in 2004. Thats due to record yields of 620 hundredweight an acre, 30 hundredweight more an acre than last year. Fall potato production in Washington is forecast to total 95.5 million hundredweight, up two percent from last year. Nationally, fall potato production is down seven percent from 2004.

Shippers of potato products, fruits and onions are among those upset with a recent decision by Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad. The railroad decided not to provide dedicated refrigerated intermodal train service from Central Washington to the Puget Sound. Although BNSFs decision was made a couple of weeks ago, Pat Boss, consultant for the Central Washington Alliance for Rail Freight Transportation, says its bad timing given the situation now with Snoqualmie pass and trying to ship by truck.

Boss: The Port of Quincy was ready to ship a lot of product. This would have been the first year this would have happened. The railroad had made commitments to the area. Commitments to shippers and these shippers were all getting ready to go in the new crop season now. A lot of product needs to move.

Boss is at a national intermodal conference today in Anaheim, California where hell meet with the vice president of BNSF. The Central Washington Alliance for Rail Freight Transportation has also written U.S. Senator Patty Murray and Governor Gregoire over the issue.

Im Bob Hoff.

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