USA Rice recently submitted comments to the Surface Transportation Board outlining several rail shipping issues impacting the industry. The comments urged STB to take lasting actions to resolve and prevent the issues from reoccurring. The comments highlighted the rice industry’s predicament of low rice prices and ever-increasing input costs, record-high inflation, and lower production forecast for 2022. The rice industry has made a push over the last several years for customers to use rail over other methods of transportation, given its efficiency. However, ongoing issues, including rail congestion, labor shortages, marginal equipment, and the lack of box and hopper cars to ship rice is hampering the industry’s ability to do so and causing shippers to resort to other, less efficient, and costly methods of transportation. The issues have resulted in crushing losses to not only rice shippers, but also rice end-users that have been forced to shut down production due to rice shortages.