What was the economic impact from rail service disruptions in 2013 and 2014 on grain farmers and shippers? Senators Thune and Klobuchar asked USDA to answer this question on October 1, 2014. USDAs Office of the Chief Economist conducted an analysis with the assistance of the Agricultural Marketing Service, delivering the report to the Senators on February 20. The preliminary findings show transportation costs are important in explaining why local prices are high or low compared to nearby futures prices or to prices at export destinations. The analysis found that extra shipping costs incurred by grain and oilseed producers in the Upper Midwest from January 1 to November 30and holding all else constantwere about 3 percent of receipts. Read USDA Analysis of 2013-14 Rail Service Challenges for Senators Thune/Klobuchar (.pdf).