United Soybean Board: Deeper Channels to Deliver Larger Profits

Image source: USACE

The United Soybean Board’s (USB) commitment to improve market conditions for farmers hits a new bottom – the Mississippi River bottom, USB said in its latest announcement. 

USB has approved funding to support environmental assessments (research) and education of this important improvement to the infrastructure system located near the Port of New Orleans.

“Every decision we make at USB is led by the driving interest in improving market opportunities for U.S. soy,” said Keith Tapp, USB Chair. “Our exploratory research on deepening the Mississippi River ship channel has the potential to improve global competitiveness and capabilities, which in turn makes it easier to deliver our product to customers and enhance farmer profitability.”

The project sets the foundation needed to improve the draft of the lower Mississippi River from 45 feet to 50 feet.

According to a report by the Soy Transportation Coalition, the change would increase the competitiveness of the leading export region for U.S. soybeans. The current depth of 45 feet on the lower Mississippi River is typically dredged to at least 47 feet to ensure the vessels do not hit the bottom of the riverbed.

The report concludes deepening the channel to 50 feet will allow a load increase from 66,000 metric tons to 78,000 metric tons, saving upward of $20 per metric ton when loading greater volumes onto one ship. The savings are expected to translate to a margin of 13 cents per bushel for barge river elevators exporting soybeans and increase revenues by $461 million.

USB is providing $2 million to help offset the research, education and promotion costs related to the project. The American Soybean Association, the Soy Transportation Coalition and several state soybean groups are also partnering to carry the project beyond USB’s initial investment.

The physical work to dredge the river would ultimately be paid by state (25%) and federal (75%) governments. Project work would begin after federal funding is secured.

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3rd International Congress Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging

Russia’s leading maritime industry Media Group PortNews (www.portnews.ru) holds a traditional annual Congress “Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging” in Moscow. 

The two-day Congress includes the 7th International Forum of Dredging Companies and the 3rd Technical Conference “Modern Solutions for Hydraulic Engineering”.

Infrastructure development is among the real sources of Russia’s economy growth. Construction of port facilities and new hydraulic engineering structures on the country’s inland waterways constitute an essential part of all infrastructure projects. It is important to take into account the best international practices to implement these projects effectively.

The program of the Congress will be devoted to the latest technologies for dredging and hydraulic engineering works. Speakers and delegates will refer to real projects to discuss specifics features of dredging works, as well as dedicated fleet and equipment involved.

To learn more about event, please, contact the organizing committee: snitko@portnews.ru

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