The National Corn Growers Association and the U.S. Grains Council understand that infrastructure is the backbone of American agriculture. That’s why they’ve signed on a sponsors of a seven-part Agri-Pulse editorial series. These special pieces will take a look at America’s infrastructure and improvements needed to keep U.S. agriculture competitive, both here in the states and abroad.
The series was announced after the recent Rural Infrastructure Summit in Ames, Iowa. “Keeping Rural America Competitive” was designed to continue the important conversations that took place at the Summit.
The Agri-Pulse series will take a deep look at an article by Ed Maxine that explores the role infrastructure plays in exports and the challenges involved in moving U.S. goods. Since more than 30 percent of corn is sent abroad, this issue is critical to farmers.
Look for these highlights to be featured:
- The American Society of Civil Engineers in its nationwide, every-four-years assessment, gave Ds (on an A-to-F scale) in its 2013 national scoring of both overall infrastructure and roads.
- ASCE reports that from 2000 to 2013 assets of total U.S. transport equipment grew by 43 percent, to $1.2 trillion, while transportation structures (highways, streets, railroads, bridges, etc.) grew 63 percent, to $739 billion.
- ASCE estimates that federal and state transportation funding levels have risen enough for most states to maintain roads, but are at least $11 billion a year short of what’s needed for long-term solutions and responding to growing demands on the system.
- A survey by the American Association of Port Authorities found that coastal ports and private port operations planned to invest $150 billion from 2016 to 2020 in capital improvements, more than triple what the same respondents had planned for 2012-2016, though the spending is concentrated on Gulf of Mexico ports.
- Congress has been annually increasing the civil works budget of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which deepens, widens and otherwise maintains and improves harbor access for ships.
You can read the series online here.