The American Jobs Plan, the Biden Administration’s $2 trillion infrastructure proposal, includes several provisions directly impacting corn growers.
Sixty million rural Americans live and work in rural communities. They rely on reliable and safe infrastructure to effectively move their products and compete globally and roads, bridges, highways and waterways provide the first and last links in the supply chain. America’s inland waterways system provides the most fuel-efficient, lowest cost, and environmentally friendly method of transporting products.
Included in the Biden Administration plan is a proposed $17 billion for inland waterways, coastal ports, land ports of entry, and ferries. The inland waterways system is essential to getting U.S. corn to export, with more than 60 percent of the grain produced in the United States being transported by barge, but work needs to be done to bring the nearly 12,000 miles of commercially navigable channels and 240 lock sites up to date.
American farmers rely on the inland waterways system to stay competitive internationally with countries like Brazil and Argentina who are quickly moving to surpass the United States in corn production but lack the infrastructure to move their product like the United States.
NCGA’s Market Development and Risk Management and Transportation Action Teams have taken an active role in seeking improvement to our nation’s infrastructure. You can view a series of videos on the Illinois River rehabilitation project that includes interviews with the Waterways Council CEO Tracy Zea, Army Corp of Engineers Tom Heinold and Illinois farmers Bill Leigh and Terry Smith and Colorado farmer Troy Schneider.
Congress will ultimately decide, and vote on, the provisions included in any infrastructure legislation. Discussions on Capitol Hill regarding an infrastructure package are currently taking place and NCGA is sharing corn farmer priorities with members of the House and Senate.