On Wednesday, I made a quick trip to Southwest Grain’s Boyle Terminal between Taylor and Gladstone to take a photo of Delane Thom, the cooperative’s manager. He had been interviewed for a national story by Reuters titled “Grain trains scarce on the Plains,” that we ran Thursday on our front page.
I spent 15 minutes chatting with Thom about the issues facing elevators throughout North Dakota, particularly those out west in the Oil Patch areas. I came away with an even better understanding of what people like those in Thom’s position are facing as they head into another busy season, trying to appease producers tired of hearing that an elevator with millions of bushels of space has no room and then begging BNSF Railway to send a few more trains their way to help free up space, only to watch a train hauling 110 cars full of oil roll east past the facility.
So much attention is being paid to those train cars carrying Bakken oil and its volatility that most forget about the issues facing local grain cooperatives throughout the region.