Growers Urge President To Roll Forward With River Transportation Upgrades

Posted on: January 26, 2011

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.)–The following is a statement from Missouri Corn Growers Association President Kenny McNamar of Gorin, Mo., regarding comments made last night by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union Address.

“Last night, President Obama highlighted the need to upgrade our nation’s transportation system in his State of the Union Address.  In his comments, the president stressed the development of high speed rail and other forms of transport as an integral component for jobs and expanded international trade.

“Approximately 60 percent of U.S. grain exports are transported on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers.  In Missouri, nearly one-third of the corn crop is shipped out of state, primarily by barge and rail.  There is a ‘shovel-ready’ project that would spur economic development and it can be found in modernizing and upgrading the locks and dams on the Mississippi River system.  If the president is serious about growing the economy through exports, we need to address an outdated river system and focus on improving access to international markets.   

“Our competitors around the world are upgrading their transportation systems to maintain a business edge.  Currently the Panama Canal is undergoing an expansion to double in capacity by 2014, allowing more and larger ships to transport goods across the globe.  With significant trade opportunities developing in China, India and other parts of the world, our ability to move product from the central U.S. to other countries should be a priority for our political leaders.”

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