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Agricultural Transportation

The Transportation Services Division (TSD) serves as the expert source for economic analysis on agricultural transportation from farm to markets. As part of USDA, we inform, represent, and assist agricultural shippers and government policymakers through: market reports, regulatory representation, economic analysis, transportation disruption reports, technical assistance, outreach to stakeholders, responding to inquiries.

Cover of Rail Rate Mediation and Arbitration for Grain Shippers

Rail Rate Mediation and Arbitration for Grain Shippers

This paper proposes mediation and arbitration as alternatives to formal Surface Transportation Board (STB) rail rate challenge procedures. When producers and shippers view the rates they are paying for transportation as excessive or uncompetitive, they need access to fair, cost-effective processes to challenge rail rates. Agricultural shippers believe the STB processes are too lengthy and expensive, with the risk not being worth the reward. A mediation/arbitration system could potentially provide a fairer and lower cost approach to challenging rail rates, such as the system developed by the Montana Grain Growers Association, Montana Farm Bureau Federation, and BNSF Railway Company. This paper highlights the need for a national-level rail rate mediation/arbitration system that is simple and cost-effective in order to provide a fair and impartial forum for all grain producers and shippers.
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U.S. Grain Transportation

Transportation of Other Agricultural Products

International Transportation Analysis

Agricultural Transportation Research and Information Center

Find useful information and analysis on the transportation of agricultural products and the four major modes– trucking, railroads, barges, and ocean vessels– used to move food from farms to our tables and to ports for export to foreign markets. Find results of on-going research and analysis presented in issue papers and presentations, as well as additional resources available by mode and commodity.

Regulatory Representation

Find comments provided to various regulatory agencies by USDA and AMS, representing the interests of agricultural shippers under the authority of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, and International Carriage of Perishable Foodstuffs Act of 1982.


Find datasets that are used in producing many of the Transportation Services Division’s publications. These datasets are now available in Excel format for the transportation of grain, biofuels, and other agricultural products.

  Last Modified Date: 04/08/2014