A new grain partnership was created on Friday between agricultural cooperative GROWMARK, Inc. and global supply chain agribusiness COFCO International Limited (CIL) providing a direct link from farmers in the Midwest to the global marketplace, and China in particular.
“We now have a direct pipeline from our growers to the end user,” said Brent Ericson, GROWMARK Senior Vice President, Member Business, who notes that China is the largest soybean importer in the world and the second largest agricultural export market for the United States.
The partnership includes joint ownership and operation of the barge, truck, and rail terminal at Cahokia, Ill., with frontage on the Mississippi River, as well as a grain origination agreement. The facility has 6 truck receiving lanes, a railroad loop track spanning 34,500 feet with two rail pits, allowing for simultaneous unloading of two shuttle trains of grain and grain products, and two 1,600 t/hour barge loading belts serving two barge loading docks.
Ericson believes Cahokia will play a key role in originating grain for the international markets driving global demand, and provide a win-win situation for both organizations. “It’s a really impressive facility in an area that there’s a lot of grain that moves through on its way to the Gulf of Mexico,” said Ericson.
CIL’s Cahokia facility receives grain via rail and truck for transloading to barges destined for export. The site is served by the Alton & Southern railroad and is able to receive product from all Class I railroads.
Audio file: Interview with Brent Ericson, GROWMARK