Corn growers, lawmakers, Corps of Engineers discuss river infrastructure issues

Farmers and lawmakers say maintaining the Mississippi River navigation infrastructure is vital. 

Sen. Tammy Baldwin discusses transportation issues with WCGA Director Ben Augustine

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin joined Wisconsin Corn Growers and the Army Corps of Engineers on a La Crosse Wisconsin to Dresbach Minnesota tour Wednesday. “There’s no question that we need to make serious investments in upgrades and maintenance.”

And, she says money is the problem. “Some years ago, there were authorizations for new projects and significant upgrades. None of them have moved because of the failure to locate the funding for this.”

WCGA Director Mark Hoffman

Wisconsin Corn Growers board member Mark Hoffman tells Brownfield the river system helps keep traffic off the aging road and rail system. “Everybody complains about the roads. Everybody complains about the traffic. It’s nothing compared to what we’ll have if one of these locks goes down.”

Hoffman says his southern Wisconsin farm had some difficulty getting fertilizer this spring because the river was closed for about 12 weeks, but it was much worse in northern and central parts of the state. “A lot of ours is trucked out of Dubuque (IA) anyways. A lot of the stuff up north here has to come up the river. There was one guy who was saying that they were traveling five hours one direction to get a semi load of fertilizer.”

Farmers urged lawmakers to continue pushing for river system funding.

Senator Tammy Baldwin interview
Wisconsin Corn Director Mark Hoffman interview
Wisconsin Soybean Association President Tony Mellenthin interview

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