Ag transportation needs to improve in ’23, economist says
An ag economist says transportation challenges could be one of the top market issues again this year.
Danny Munch with the American Farm Bureau says farmers could see more supply chain disruptions if conditions don’t improve for barge traffic along the Mississippi River.
“Initially when the Mississippi barge slowdown happened, you had prices up over 2300% from the baseline tariff when it usually hovers around 500%,” Munch said Monday at the 2023 American Farm Bureau Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico. “More recently as we’ve seen some of the snow melts and some of that water flow come back, those prices have then dropped. Hopefully, we can get more rain.”
He says rail shipments also need to pick up steam.
“Farmers are having a hard time getting access to (rail) transportation when they need it,” Munch said. “You may have read some of the stories that the Surface Transportation Board had to get involved with getting livestock producers what they need from the railways.”
Munch says a lack of workers has challenged the rail industry.