Governor Parson Strongly Supports Mississippi River Dredging

Photo by: Brian Krause, Dredge Goetz master tender

Missouri Governor Michael Parson has joined the Missouri Soybean Association in support of dredging the lower Mississippi River and securing the federal funding necessary to capture that benefit for Missouri and other states connected to the Mississippi River and tributaries.

“Missouri and other states that export products such as soybean and corn rely upon this link to access the international marketplace,” Parson wrote in a letter to R.D. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.

Deepening the Mississippi River Ship Channel is an investment that “will propel our country into the future,” Parson continued.

Governor Parson also wrote a similar letter to Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget.

The current depth of the lower Mississippi River is 45 feet. At that depth, standard Panamax vessels are loaded to 66,000 metric tons — 70,000 metric tons max.

Sometimes, the river is dredged to 47 feet, so vessels don’t hit the bottom. But even then, larger Panamax vessels can only be loaded to 77,000 metric tons, said the Missouri Soybean Association in its release.

The benefit of larger loads and lower freight costs touches many along the soy value chain, including farmers.

In research made possible through the soybean checkoff, the United Soybean Board found U.S. farmers can expect an addition $461 million in revenue per year – paying farmers as much as 13 cents more per bushel of soybean.

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