Feds order railroad to expedite delivery of feed to keep Valley livestock alive

Railroad operators are facing increased heat from Federal officials and their customers over missed delivery deadlines. Now, it’s affecting the food supply chain.

For the second time in the past year, Federal rail officials ordered a major freight line to deliver the necessary feed to a major central California livestock producer to ensure its animals stay alive.

Union Pacific Railroad, the target of the complaints, is now pushing back on regulators as it ratchets up deliveries.


The big picture: Supply chain issues remain pervasive, specifically in the rail industry. It’s now forcing major food producers to complain to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB), the principal regulator of freighters.

  • Livingston-based Foster Farms is the latest to make repeat complaints to regulators over the poor service from Union Pacific, noting that the rail line has had chronic problems in meeting its obligations to deliver materials on-time, the AP reports.
  • Foster Farms is relying on deliveries of grain from the midwest to continue feeding millions of chickens and thousands of cattle at facilities in Traver, Turlock, and Delhi.
  • A Tuesday complaint from Foster Farms lawyers notes that Union Pacific failed to meet its stated delivery times for the past two weeks.
  • The producer did note that regulatory complaints against the freighter last spring yielded better service and closer to on-time delivery.

What they’re saying: Union Pacific responded to Foster Farms’ claims by noting the increase in blizzard like conditions throughout the midwest have delayed trains.

  • “Union Pacific remains committed to serving all of our customers as efficiently as possible, including Foster Farms, weather permitting,” Union Pacific spokesman Mike Jaixen said.
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