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Abstract

The Kansas grain storage, handling and transportation industry has undergone considerable change in recent years in terms of physical storage and handling capacity, competitive organization of participants, and access to large scale rail transportation. Ongoing consolidation of local and regional cooperatives has occurred as have strategic investments in high-volume rail transportation facilities by both cooperatives and independent agribusinesses. While the structure of the Kansas grain industry has been in a period of dynamic change over the last decade, the reasons are varied and somewhat interdependent. Periods of severe drought in western Kansas, establishment of ethanol processing plants in different parts of the state, the ongoing competitive presence of the Kansas cattle feeding industry and recent growth in dairy industries, the construction of 100 railcar-plus shuttle train grain handling facilities in strategic locations in the state (to ensure competitive rail access by local / regional grain elevators), and other changes have all occurred on a large scale since years 2007-2008.

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