Illinois Corn Growers Association President Randy DeSutter, a farmer from Woodhull, made the following statement while reflecting on Friday’s passage of an infrastructure bill:
“After several decades of advocating for upgraded locks and dams, Illinois farmers celebrate the passage of an infrastructure bill that provides $2.5 billion for inland waterways construction and major rehabilitation projects. New locks and dams will power the transportation efficiency that makes Illinois one of the largest agricultural export states in the nation.”
A recent study, Importance of Inland Waterways to U.S. Agriculture by the U.S. Department of Agriculture concluded that transportation by our inland waterways saves between $7 billion-$9 billion annually in transportation costs. That same study concluded that increased investment in lock and dam construction, including NESP, would raise Gross Domestic Product by $72 billion through 2045, with a 19 percent increase of waterways-related employment.
Additionally, market value of U.S. corn and soybeans would raise by $39 billion.