In The News

Dec 1, 2023

Drought & River Transport Impact on Corn Competitiveness

Key Issues: TradeTransportation and Infrastructure

Author: Krista Swanson

For the second year in a row, drought conditions are impacting transportation on the Mississippi River at the peak shipment point of the year. Shallower river levels mean barge weight restrictions, slower barge traffic, and higher costs to ship commodities on the river. Ultimately, this translates to a relatively lower price at the farmgate and higher cost for the world buyer.   Drought Slows Grain Barge Traffic in 2022 and 2023 The Mississippi River is an important channel for commodity transportation. The USDA reports the final mode of transport was barge for 13% of U.S. grains in 2020, and 46% of exported U.S. grains[i]. There are normally two peaks in grain barge movements, one in late summer leading up to the end of the marketing year for corn and soybeans, and the other emerging in the fall harvest season and into the post-harvest months.   The impact of low water levels on grain barge movements was notable in 2023, marking the second consecutive year of drought...

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Feb 19, 2021

Opinion: Cracking the accounting jigsaw of on-farm conservation to grow the profitability of healthy soils

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: AgriPulse

This opinion piece originally ran in AgriPulse   While American farmers are trying to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and tough economic conditions, they are also being asked to improve soil health and water quality.   Policy and business leaders across the country are setting ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts from food production. But farmers can’t be expected to adopt practices like conservation tillage, cover crops and efficient nutrient management without these practices paying off on their balance sheets.   Fortunately, there is growing evidence from farmers who have been able to make sustainable improvements while maintaining or even improving their profitability. Still, agricultural soils are complex, and different conservation practices have different costs, benefits and timelines to return on investment, especially when compared across crop types and geographies.   Simply put, a cover crop that worked for a farmer...

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