As water levels begin to recede, an emergency situation has developed with significant silting and shoaling at the River’s mouth that imminently threatens the ability of vessels to enter and exit the river.

“Dredging of this critical artery must happen immediately, and it is our hope the Administration and Congress will work together to ensure that sufficient funding for dredging is available, including the expeditious enactment of Emergency Supplemental Appropriations funding, if necessary,” Kemper said.

To modernize lock and dam infrastructure on the Upper Mississippi, a long-term plan, such as the Capital Development Plan, which was formulated by the waterways industry and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is needed to improve the program management and provide a sufficient and reliable funding mechanism.

“ASA urges that the Capital Development Plan be included in a Water Title of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization bill or in a Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) that is enacted this year,” Kemper said.

ASA also supports the inclusion of provisions in the Surface Transportation Reauthorization bill to maintain the hours-of-service exemption for agricultural producers and to increase weight limits for trucks with six axles.

In agriculture, safety, efficiency, and flexibility are needed to maximize productivity. The hours-of-service exemption and truck weight limit provisions are necessary to meet those needs.

“We urge that these important transportation issues be addressed by Congress to keep soybeans, other commodities, and our overall economy moving,” Kemper said.