The share of the grain and oilseed harvest moved by rail has been declining since 1980, when the Federal Motor Carrier Act and the Staggers Rail Act were passed. Large structural changes associated with these acts affected the decline over the following two decades. However, the rail market share of grain and oilseed transportation has continued to decline since then. This paper develops a model of the top grain-producing states to investigate which major factors have been responsible for the decrease in the rail market share of grain and oilseed transportation since 2001. The three most important factors contributing to the decrease in rail market share are ethanol production, biodiesel production, and the concentration of animal feeding.
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