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#ICYMI: Waterways Council Launches Educational Video Series

(Posted Wed. Aug 14th, 2019)

Keywords: transportation

The Waterways Council, Inc. recently produced a series of videos, aimed at educating various audiences on inland waterways. The five videos focus on agriculture, labor, shippers, communities and the Army Corps of Engineers. In the agriculture video, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue kicks it off by saying “I don’t think anything is more important to agriculture than logistics and transportation. That’s ultimately how we get that product to the ultimate end customer and our waterways have been absolutely critical in that effort.”   To watch the agriculture video, click here. To learn more about and watch the other four videos, click here. In September, NCGA staff will be participating in a Mississippi Riverboat trip with the Army Corps of Engineers from Hannibal to St. Louis, to learn more about river transportation, lock and dam infrastructure and various projects the Corps is working on.   Fast Facts on River Transportation:   Corn, soybeans and wheat account...

NCGA Testifies on Importance of Inland Waterways

(Posted Wed. Apr 10th, 2019)

Keywords: Transportation Public Policy

NCGA First Vice President Kevin Ross testified before the U.S. House Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment today at a hearing titled, “The Cost of Doing Nothing: Why Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund and Investment in our Nation’s Waterways Matter.”   The hearing was an opportunity for NCGA to share the importance of the inland waterway system to farmers and serve as a resource for future discussions regarding water transport.   “America’s corn farmers need reliable means of moving our crops to customers, whether it’s to livestock feed yards, grain elevators, the ethanol plant, or ports for export. Farmers use many modes of transportation, with the inland waterway system being a vital artery of transportation for our products, especially for farmers in the Midwest,” Ross told the Subcommittee.   Read Ross’s Testimony   Video Highlights

(Posted Mon. Feb 12th, 2018)

Keywords: Transportation

The National Corn Growers Association thanked President Trump following the announcement detailing his plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure and making it a national priority today. Noting the particular importance of improving rural infrastructure, and pledging $50 billion dollars to do so, this announcement clearly shows the value the Administration places on rural communities, and NCGA looks forward to working with them in their efforts to achieve this important goal.   While NCGA is pleased in the investment in rural infrastructure, plans outlined to address water transportation systems cause some concern in their current state.   Water transportation systems like the Upper Mississippi River corridor are critical corridors of commerce for many industries including agriculture and the nation’s farmers. We are currently depending on a dilapidated system of locks and dams that is more than half a century old, and on borrowed time.   Nearly three-quarters of U.S. grain...

(Posted Wed. Oct 26th, 2016)

Keywords: Transportation

New research by the University of Tennessee quantifies what many in agriculture have known for years; failure of our aging river locks and dams along the Mississippi River and its tributaries would be ruinous with billions of dollars in lost jobs and reduced economic activity.   Recently, USDA released estimates of the economic implications to the agriculture sector should a disruption occur at either Lock & Dam 25 on the Upper Mississippi or La Grange Lock & Dam on the Illinois River waterway. The locations were selected because they are representative of the lock system as a whole but also because they occupy key locations on the river system.   “These are both 600 foot locks even though modern tows are 1,200 feet-long. They are also at the lower reaches of the waterways,” said Ken Hartman, chair of the National Corn Growers Association’s Market Access Action Team. “The southbound traffic here already contributes to long delays because of the lock size. But a disruption of...

(Posted Tue. Oct 11th, 2016)

Keywords: infrastructure transportation

Solid infrastructure is the backbone of American agriculture and especially critical to the continued growth in exports of feed grains.  That’s why the National Corn Growers Association, along with the U.S. Grains Council, signed on as a sponsor of a special seven-part Agri-Pulse editorial series that is taking a close-up look at America’s infrastructure and the improvements that are needed to help farmers and ranchers remain competitive at home and abroad.  The series, “Keeping Rural America Competitive,” was launched following the recent Rural Infrastructure Summit in Ames, Iowa, in an effort to continue the important conversations prompted by the Summit.  That event featured a diverse collection of agriculture companies and organizations as well as distinguished speakers emphasizing the importance of finding new ways to address global population growth, exports and market access while building stronger rural communities.  It also included two moderated panels featuring a...

(Posted Thu. Sep 29th, 2016)

Keywords: Transportation

The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5303, the Water Resources and Development Act of 2016 (WRDA 2016), late Wednesday, by a vote of 399-25. The National Corn Growers Association thanks the House for making the bill a priority during the short September legislative session.   “Farmers and ranchers need to be able to get their products to market quickly and safely, and inland waterways are a critical part of that process for much of the country. The Water Resources Development Act helps maintain and modernize our inland waterways infrastructure and plays a vital role in moving corn to export markets,” said NCGA First Vice President Wesley Spurlock, a farmer from Stratford, Texas.   A main focus of the WRDA 2016 bill is clearing the backlog of projects at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It also provides more than $10 billion in funding to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop, maintain and support the nation’s port and waterways infrastructures.   “We would...

(Posted Fri. Sep 16th, 2016)

Keywords: Transportation

The National Corn Growers Association praised the U.S. Senate for passing S. 2848, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA 2016), and encouraged the House of Representatives leadership to make the bill a priority for the September legislative session.   “Inland waterways are a central part of our country’s transportation infrastructure, helping farmers and ranchers to get their products to market quickly and safely. The Water Resources Development Act is an important step forward in our efforts to maintain and modernize our inland waterways infrastructure,” said NCGA Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Brent Hostetler, a farmer from Plain City, Ohio.   This bill provides only minor policy tweaks and is focused on clearing the backlog of projects at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.   Additionally, S. 2848 will provide relief from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations by exempting farms with up to...