Photo Credit: Iowa Soybean Association
Infrastructure Investments Bode Well for Iowa Soybean Farmers
November 8, 2021
Courtesy of Robb Ewoldt, Iowa Soybean Association President and soybean farmer from Davenport
Passage of H.R. 3684 by the U.S. House late Friday provides significant funding for much-needed upgrades to America’s roads, ports, airports, bridges, rail, inland waterways and broadband.
Iowa soybean farmers are nearing completion of a projected record Iowa soybean harvest estimated at more than 610 million bushels. In doing so, we’re reminded that producing much-needed protein and oil profitably and sustainably means connecting where we grow it with those who need it. Production and demand are interconnected by quality and reliable infrastructure.
However, once a competitive advantage for Iowa and U.S. soybean farmers, the quality of our locks, dams, roads, bridges, and rails has consistently deteriorated. Many of these assets have long outlived their anticipated life, thus becoming a significant liability. For Iowa soybean farmers and the greater soy industry, the need for an infusion of capital into infrastructure is especially acute given nearly two-thirds of our production is exported. As proof, the House passage of H.R. 3684 comes on the heels of a U.S. Census Bureau report valuing U.S. soybean exports for 2020-21 at $34.5 billion, up from $20.8 billion the previous year.
H.R. 3684 increases much-needed funding for roads and bridges (including targeted funding for rural areas); accounts for freight rail and inland waterways funding; has provisions to address truck driver shortages (including hours-of-service changes); supports a new pilot program to highlight the benefits of biobased construction materials, like soy-based concrete sealant; and addresses critical rural broadband issues.
The Iowa Soybean Association supports investing resources in specific and proven initiatives that have tangible and meaningful outcomes for all Iowans. H.R. 3684 meets that requirement. We look forward to the legislation’s swift signage and implementation as a generational investment in infrastructure is long overdue. We also recognize Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Cindy Axne for supporting this historic investment in our nation’s infrastructure.
Not funded by the soybean checkoff
The Iowa Soybean Association (www.iasoybeans.com) is “Driven To Deliver” increased soybean demand through market development and new uses, farmer-focused research and results, timely information and know-how and policy initiatives enabling farmers and the industry to flourish. Founded in 1964 by farmers to serve farmers, ISA is governed by a board of 22 farmers to advocate on behalf of the state’s 40,000 soybean producers, including more than 12,000 ISA farmer members and industry stakeholders.