News & Events
Waterways offer a highly efficient system for transporting grain to major export ports in the United States. Through a complex system of rivers and connected waterways, farmers across much of the grain belt have the ability to move grain cost effectively and quickly to domestic and international markets. Fed by the network of highways and rail lines leading to grain elevators along the river system, the U.S. internal waterways system has long been a major competitive advantage in world trade.
Railroad service is a key component of the agricultural industry, especially in areas of the United States where there are no waterways for barge transportation.
When it comes to moving grain over long distances, railroads have a significant advantage. For example, a 100-car train unit has the capacity to move up to 9,074 metric tons, while a single truck can haul about 24 tons.
To ensure a quality crop at harvest, U.S. farmers work to select seed varieties that are best suited to the climate and growing conditions in their region. Throughout the growing and harvest seasons, farmers collect data to guide decisions such as fertilizer application. Prior to on-farm storage, grain goes through a cleaning and drying process to reduce the moisture content.
Labor issues at various points in the international transportation matrix can delay the delivery of products. What happens in individual markets can often impact the global market and purchasing decisions by international buyers.
Early in 2015, dockworkers at U.S. West Coast ports caused a slowdown in normal port operations because of an ongoing deadlock in contract negotiations. The dispute has been resolved, and work is progressing on clearing the backlog of cargo.
Together, barge, train and truck transportation each play a key role in deliverying U.S. grain from farmers’ fields to domestic and international consumers. While some degree of competition exists among the transportation sectors, they each work toward the same objective and complement the goals of the U.S. barley, corn and sorghum and co-product industries.
There is good news for international buyers of U.S. ethanol. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects ethanol production to average 938,000 billion barrels per day (bbl/d) in 2015 (up from 933,000 bbl/d in 2014).
The warmer days of spring will be here soon, and that means U.S. grain farmers have to make decisions on acreage and crops to plant. The winter months in the United States are when farmers prepare equipment and obtain seed of the varieties they plan to grow for the upcoming year.
The U.S. Grains Council provides a trusted bridge between international buyers and U.S. suppliers. Helping fulfill that mission, the Council offers lists on its website, http://grains.org/buyingselling/corn/commercial-grain-exporters, of commercial grain exporters who are looking to connect with potential customers. Please feel free to reach out to these suppliers to fill your demand.
Benefits of Dry Bulk Shipping
Genetically modified (GM) crops continue to receive scientific acclaim for environmental sustainability, and farmers continue to increase their use of the technology worldwide. A recent German report showed that genetically modified crops have contributed to a 37 percent reduction in pesticide use and 22 percent higher yields.