FOOD: Problem in Logistics

All week long empty boxcars from the East clattered into Midwest terminals. As fast as the cars arrived, the railroads routed them to prairie lines, where more than a billion bushels of corn and wheat from last year's harvest lay unshipped.

The railroads were racing against time and waste, but from the Panhandle to the Dakotas the worried farmers doubted that the railroads could win. There were just not enough cars to move the mountains of grain before millions of bushels of high-moisture-content corn, now piled in the open, rotted in the spring rains. And by late May a new crop...