FAILING WATERWAYS GO AGAINST OUR GRAIN.
Illinois farmers grow and raise many agricultural commodities, such as soybeans, corn and wheat. Marketing these commodities generates more than $19 billion1 annually to enhance the state’s economy.
Illinois ranks third nationally in the export of agricultural commodities with $8.2 billion worth of goods shipped to other countries.1 Illinois is uniquely suited to take advantage of the productivity of growers that raise soybean and other commodities.
However, to remain competitive, the Illinois transportation network—roads, bridges, rails and waterways—must be reliable and efficient so crops can move from market to end user in a safe, economical and timely fashion. The aging locks and dam system that allow barges to move up and down waterways are not in good shape. That’s why industry partners are working on innovative solutions for waterway infrastructure investments.
1 Facts about Illinois Agriculture, Illinois Department of Agriculture. Available at: https://www.agr.state.il.us/facts-about-illinois-agriculture/. Accessed May 4, 2016.