Agricultural Businesses’ Reliance on the NEC

Perdue Agribusiness, Amick Farms — Delmarva Peninsula

Disruptions and restrictions on the NEC affect key agribusinesses in the Delmarva region. The capacity and time restrictions on the NEC effectively limit the amount of freight traffic that can access the Delmarva Peninsula. If these constraints were to increase significantly, some of these facilities might be forced to reduce operations or shut down entirely. Constraints in the freight rail system that lead to increased rail rates have a direct impact – as the cost of freight increases so does the cost of production for agribusiness.

If there were increased restrictions on freight rail, preventing soybeans from being shipped by rail, Perdue Agribusiness’s Sharon Clark, the firm’s Senior Vice President of Trucking and Regulatory Affairs, believes that business flight would be a possibility and that any disruption to the rail corridor would “severely impact” Perdue Agribusiness’s competitiveness.

Alternatively, if access to freight rail were to increase in such a way that caused rail rates to drop, both Amick Farms and Perdue Agribusiness believe there is potential to increase the volume of business performed at their Delmarva facilities.

Amick Farms and Perdue Agribusiness believe that business at their Delmarva facilities could increase with improved freight rail access. Photo courtesy of Amick Farms.