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The grain industry in the United States has expanded rapidly since World War II. Concurrent with this expansion has been an increase in the demand for grain transportation services. There have been periods of excess demand for grain hauling equipment and grain handling facilities. This excess demand distorts the normal grain price-space relationships and results in the usual problems and inefficiencies which correspond to such distortions. Associated with the expansion of the grain distribution industry has been a greater degree of production specialization among farms, an expansion of the domestic waterways, the near completion of the Federal Interstate Highway System, difficult financial conditions for some railroads, and the partial abandonment of the railroad system. In 1973 the United States faced a new problem, an energy crisis, which brought about new problems for the transportation industry. The energy crisis was especially intense because all modes of transportation depend heavily on gasoline and diesel fuels which were in especially short supply because of the depletion of domestic oil supplies and restricted oil imports.

Publication Date:



Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University


Ames, IA


Agricultural and Resource Economics | Agricultural Economics | Agriculture | Rural Sociology | Transportation

An interregional analysis of U.S. domestic grain transportation