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NCGA Joins Groups Commenting on Supply Chain Issues

Dan Corn

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Mississippi River Grain Barge
These barges are 200’X35′ and cary 1500 tons of material. The max draft is 12′ when fully loaded and only 1.5′ when empty. They can be loaded in as little as 5 hrs at the rate of 3,000 tons per hour.
Jim Taylor/Flickr image

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) joined 51 other groups in sending comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation on the many issues currently disrupting the U.S. supply chain. The comments offered recommendations on how to alleviate these challenges through legislative and regulatory actions.

“To be successful, farmers must have a reliable and fully-functioning national transportation system that allows us to get fall fertilizer shipments and deliver our products to consumers in a timely manner,” says NCGA President Chris Edgington.

Their recommendations on inland waterways include prioritizing legislative and regulatory actions that promote the rehabilitation of aging waterway infrastructure on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. The groups also encourage the Surface Transportation Board to allow “reciprocal” or “competitive switching,” which would allow shippers and receivers geographically beholden to one rail carrier to gain access to a second rail carrier through a short distance switch.

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Another transportation recommendation was that USDA and the Transportation Department continue working together to ensure agricultural haulers and the rest of the trucking industry have the flexibilities they need to provide timely delivery of essential products.

The recommendations come soon after President Biden’s announcement that the Port of Los Angeles would begin to operate 24/7 to help mitigate the bottleneck on the West Coast.

(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)