The Challenges and Opportunities of Improving a Critical Link of the Agriculture Supply Chain
- Agriculture depends on safe and efficient infrastructure. Rural roads and bridges are a critical link in our nation's food supply chain. Preliminary data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics Commodity Flow Survey show that more than 70% of America's freight, worth $10 trillion, is moved on the highway system. U.S. roads and highways link farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and service industries to grain elevators, ethanol plants, processors, feedlots, markets and ports. Rural roads'significant deficiencies have created many challenges -- and opportunities -- to improving the efficiency of the agricultural supply chain. However, America's ability to address its rural transportation challenges is threatened by a significant decrease in state transportation revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an existing backlog of surface transportation projects and the continued need for regulatory flexibility.