Just to be clear, these are not necessarily just small food providers who are unable to secure feed shipments due to being smaller players. Even large players like Foster Farms, the largest chicken producer in the western U.S., are having trouble.

According to reports, Foster Farms recently asked federal regulators to issue an emergency service calling on the Union Pacific (UP) railroad to prioritize corn shipments to feed its thousands of heads of dairy cattle and millions of chickens and turkeys.

“The point has been reached when millions of chickens will be killed and other livestock will suffer because of UP’s service failures,” the company wrote in its request to the STB this week.

The fact that Foster Farms had to ask for an emergency directive towards this end reveals the seriousness of the issue, according to Seyfert.