- Associated Press - Sunday, August 10, 2014
Bridges key piece to toting big soybean harvest

STOCKLAND, Ill. (AP) - A no-frills concrete bridge on the edge of Stockland, Illinois, represents just the kind of headache the nation’s soybean farmers hope a multimillion-dollar campaign and a little creative thinking will cure.

The 50-feet concrete span and hundreds like it in soybean-growing states can’t handle the weight of fully loaded grain trucks that’ll be bringing an expected record harvest to grain elevators this fall. That means those who use the often small, obscure bridges will have to make more trips and spend more money.

Hauling soybeans to Stockland Grain Co. from the west means crossing the Stockland bridge. It’s restricted to 29 tons or 58,000 pounds; a fully loaded grain trucks weighs 80,000 pounds.

“Basically, it’s probably doubling the freight (cost),” Stockland Grain owner Sonny Metzinger said from his business about 100 miles south of Chicago.

Since farmers’ profits are dropping this year alongside crop prices, bridge-infrastructure needs have come into sharper focus. Most soybeans wind up on a rail car or barge to reach their ultimate destination, but just about all of them leave the farm in trucks that roll over small bridges.

“This matters a lot all of the sudden,” said Scott Irwin, a professor of agricultural marketing at the University of Illinois.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide