How railroaders think, and how you can help

Last week I wrote a column urging railroads to invest more resources in developing better forecasts of growing crops, I demanded that the federal government not reduce the amount or quality of data and analysis it is providing on the agriculture industry, and I suggested somebody like the Canada Grains Council take on the role of collecting and collating up-to-date estimates of crop size – both now and for future years – to supply to people like the railroads. (Here is the column if you want to read it.)

Some of what I wrote was based on a speech and comments made by Canadian National Railway executive vice president Jean-Jacques Ruest at the Canadian Global Crops Symposium, and some from an interview I did with Ruest after the speech and panel discussion.

It was fascinating for me to briefly see inside the thinking of a senior railroading executive, which is a realm that neither I nor 99.9999 percent of Prairie farmers often wander into.

So I thought I’d share with you the interview I did with him. Check out the eight minute audio file here: Jean-Jacques Ruest and Me

Ruest wants the farming and agriculture industry to help the railroads to get a better sense of what’s coming in future years, so there’s the challenge to all of you: Ruest says the railroads can develop the capacity to pull the extra millions of tonnes of crop Prairie farmers are planning to grow in future years, but need a way to understand that better.


About the author

Ed White — Ed White has specialized in markets coverage since 2001 and has achieved the Derivatives Market Specialist (DMS) designation with the Canadian Securities Institute.

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