The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) in partnership with TFI member CHS Inc. today applauded Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) for their leadership in support of December's passage of the Surface Transportation Board (STB) Reauthorization Act of 2015 during a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing in Sioux Falls, SD on implementation of the Act.

Vice President of Transportation and Terminal Operations for CHS Inc. Dan Mack, delivered testimony that articulated the necessity of a safe and efficient rail transportation network for the timely delivery of fertilizers to the industry's farmer customers.

"In fiscal year 2012-2013, 63 million material tons of fertilizer products were sold in the United States.," stated Mack.  "Fertilizer is critical to crop yields, and it also must move year-round over great distances.  All shippers, including CHS, experience logistical challenges.  Practical reforms are critical to mitigating these challenges."

"One such example is the inclusion of fertilizer in the STB's rulemaking on railroad performance service metrics, continued Mack.  "We are pleased fertilizer is part of this rulemaking and urge that it be part of the reporting requirements when the Board issues a final rule."

"Rail is essential in moving the millions of tons of fertilizer products around the country" said Chris Jahn, President of TFI. "Without access to a safe and efficient rail transportation network, famers will not be able to obtain fertilizer, which is so important to the world's food supply and the U.S. economy."

A study recently commissioned by TFI showed that the fertilizer industry contributes over $141 billion to the U.S. economy, producing 458,000 jobs and over $31 billion in wages.   

"The fertilizer industry is also encouraged by the recently proposed rulemaking on competitive switching, concluded Mack.  "Competitive switching is a practical way to give rail customers access to a measure of competition where none currently exists. The fertilizer industry looks forward to continued engagement on this important matter."