Progress on Lower Mississippi River dredging helps growers
A project on the lower Mississippi River supported by Midwestern soybean growers has made progress.
Mike Steenhoek with the Soy Transportation Coalition says the first part of of the channel has been lowered to 48 feet – with the goal of reaching 50 feet.
“Having that increased allowance for water depth to 48 feet which is now the first 150 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, it goes past New Orleans, that’s going to provide more economical transport for soybean and corn exports to the global marketplace.”
He tells Brownfield Ag News more bushels carried per vessel will mean a narrower basis for farmers.
“It will result in soybean farmers receiving $461-Million dollars annually, not because demand changed or because supply changes, it’s simply because your supply chain – your transportation system – has become more efficient. So, we equate that to more money residing in a farmer’s wallet and that’s what excites us.”
Steenhoek expects the full 50-foot depth on the first 150 miles to be reached in the coming months.
The full 256-mile project – from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to the Gulf – should be done in the next two to four years but he says there are many pipelines (for oil and utilities) under the river that will have to be moved.
The lower 246 mile stretch of the Mississippi River is the #1 export launching point, transporting 60% of U.S. soybeans and 59% of U.S. corn.