Soy Transportation Council releases lock and dam funding report
The Soy Transportation Council released a report that concluded the current unpredictable funding approach for building and modernizing U.S. locks and dams used for agricultural transportation is much more costly than it would be if funding was predictable and reliable.
The research, conducted by Texas A&M University, said a project that would cost $500 million with regular, timely funding and be completed in five years costs $573 million and takes eight years under the current system.
The report, “Predictable Funding for Locks and Dams,” describes the cost escalations and project delays resulting from the current approach and identifies potential best practices that would enhance the likelihood of lock and dam work being completed on time and within budget.
The Ankeny, Iowa-based council noted that last year 97.2 million tons of soybeans and grain were transported via the system to farmers with international customers.
“Farmers have a reputation of making the dollar stretch further and doing more with less on their own operations,” says Gerry Hayden, a soybean farmer from Calhoun, Ky., and chairman of the Soy Transportation Coalition.
“We therefore think it is very appropriate for a farmer organization like the STC to explore how taxpayer dollars can be stretched further when maintaining and improving our locks and dams.”