Shipping Out

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Shipping Out, Part 4: Mississippi River Transportation System Gets D-Minus Grade

Aging locks, inadequate lock size, increasing channel dredging needs, critical repair needs, chronic budget shortfalls and concerns in coordinating overseas shipments with restricted river availability are major worries on most of our nation's rivers. Built to last 50 years, many of the Upper Mississippi River locks are already more than 70 years old. As a result, the American Society of Civil Engineers has given a D-minus grade to the deteriorating physical condition of the Mississippi River navigable waterways.
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Shipping Out, Part 3: Moving Bushels South at 3 MPH

Barge design and positioning affect efficient movement on the Mississippi River. But when aging infrastructure brings barges to a standstill for as long as 12 hours, all the design in the world can't save what amounts to $100 million in delay-related costs. If the U.S. is going to move twice as much grain to market 20 or 30 years from now, we'll need to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to update the river's ancient system of locks.
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Shipping Out, Part 2: Bound for New Orleans

Farmers effectively grow and market their crops, but the grain still has to be transported to its final destination. Sometimes, this is a food processing plant 89 miles away, a local ethanol plant or an export market that requires barging grain down the Mississippi River. From New Orleans, this grain is then sent across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe or through the Panama Canal to China or Japan. Join us as we begin the journey down the Mighty Mississippi aboard the Show-Me State, a twin-screw barge pushing $5.4 million in grain.
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Shipping Out, Part 1: The Rising Tide on Yields

With considerable talk taking place about the possibility of boosting average yields to 300 bushels of corn and 100 bushels of soybeans per acre by 2030, there are plenty of agronomic questions on how we can make this happen.
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