Dredging of the Mississippi River provides better opportunities for soybean producers

The new lower Mississippi River dredging announcement came at an opportune time for soybean farmers. The Iowa Soybean Association shares how this improved infrastructure means better opportunities for producers and their rural communities.

According to Mike Steenhoek, the director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, “This is a project that we and others have been really advocating for for a number of years. It is the number one export region for soybeans. 60 percent of U.S. soybeans leave from export terminals located along that lower part of the Mississippi River near New Orleans... This is real important link in our supply chain that really allows farmers in the interior part of our country to be profitable.”

The process will deepen the river from 45 to 50 feet. Doing this will allow ships to load at least 500 thousand additional bushels of soybeans. This will have a ripple effect, economically, within the industry.

“If you have any opportunity to make our supply chain, our transportation system more economical that’s going to have benefit to our competitiveness on the international market place,” Steenhoek said.

“When farmers get involved in an issue, that issue increases in importance. It becomes more of a priority.”

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