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Cargill’s announcement of an expansion of railcar spots in Kindersley, SK is being characterized as an investment for farmers. “In reality, it is an investment by farmers,” says Terry Boehm, President of the National Farmers Union.
“Farmers pay for these expansions through what are called Industrial Development Funds. These funds essentially are surcharges that allow the railways to raise the revenue cap and thus, freight rates, to cover the costs of this infrastructure,” he continued.
“Farmers ultimately pay for all this,” says Boehm, “but have no say in how the system is structured. This is a great system for rail and grain corporations, as they can pretend they are doing something for farmers. In the end, though, farmers pay for a system that is structured in the best interests of those corporations,” he concluded.