As Ohio soybean farmers continue to tackle this year’s unprecedented challenges in growing and marketing a crop, it remains essential to maintain and improve the transportation system used to get their products to markets around the world. With that in mind, the United Soybean Board (USB) recently announced a $2 million allocation to help offset the planning, design, and research costs of deepening the lower Mississippi River from 45 feet to 50 feet.
According to the Soy Transportation Coalition (STC), dredging this part of the river would allow for larger and/or more heavily loaded ships and decrease transportation costs of soybeans from Mississippi Gulf export terminals by 13 cents. This could mean an additional $34 million for Ohio soybean farmers annually as a result of improved basis levels.
The 256-mile stretch of the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to the Gulf of Mexico accounts for 60% of U.S. soybean exports, along with 59% of corn exports — by far the leading export region for both commodities.… Continue reading