Re: When is the grain rush?


gn3397 <heninger@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "laramielarry" <larryostresh@...> wrote:

Hi Folks

When is the grain rush? The reason I ask is that for the next Union Pacific Freight Conductors' Train Book I transcribe I would like to choose a report that includes the grain rush. My Train Books are all for the U.P. mainline between Laramie and Rawlins, Wyoming, and are primarily from 1937 to 1939.

Two of the books I already transcribed cover mid-September to the 3rd week in October, and there is not a hint of a grain rush. For example, in Fitz's report there are only 20 cars (of 2,362) that appear to be carrying grain of any sort.

I assume that Sept-Oct is too early or too late for the grain rush. Or perhaps the grain rush did not manifest itself on the U.P. transcontinental route during the Depression?

Thanks,
Larry Ostresh
Laramie, Wyoming
Larry,
The "grain rush" varies depending on the type of crop grown. On the Great Northern, which served a territory that produces a lot of spring wheat and durum, the grain rush runs from August through September, with prepositioning of cars starting in July. There would still be significant wheat traffic into the early winter months, but the "rush" was typically winding down by early November. Farmers try to hold onto their grain and sell when the prices are highest, but a lot of them need to sell most of their crop right away, as the bankers needed to be paid, not to mention the seed, fertilizer, and fuel jobbers.

Further south, more winter wheat is grown, IIRC, and the harvest starts earlier in the year. I would look at a June, July, or August book if I were you. Of course, your books are from Wyoming, not Kansas, so I don't know how much wheat was grown in that area at the time.

Sincerely,
Bob Heninger
Iowa City, IA

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