The deteriorating waterway transportation system in the United States is putting the livelihood of soybean farmers at risk, according to the United Soybean Board.
A report the soybean board commissioned, entitled “America’s Locks & Dams: A Ticking Timebomb For Agriculture?”, says agriculture accounted for 22 per cent of all transported tonnage and 31 per cent of all “ton miles,” a measure of freight movement, in the United States in 2007.
Should a catastrophic failure occur, agricultural producers and consumers will suffer. From 2005 to 2009, 87 to 91 per cent of corn exported through lower Mississippi ports arrived at the ports via barge. For soybeans, the percentage was 87 to 89 per cent.