A study of ag transportation released in December by the U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed that 80% of United States ag freight moves on only 17 transportation corridors that make up 17% of the U.S. highway network. The study, titled “Importance of Highways to U.S. Agriculture,” was undertaken because “the needs of ag users are not always accounted for in highway planning decisions,” according to Adam Sparger, director, Transportation Services Division, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, and a co-author of the report.
Sparger was one of three panelists who discussed the report during two presentations at FreightWeekSTL 2021, an event presented in conjunction with the Inland Marine Expo in St. Louis, Missouri, which was presented by The Waterways Journal. A panel discussion was hosted by Mary Lamie, executive vice president of Multi Modal Enterprises and head of the St. Louis Regional Freightway. Besides Sparger, the panelists included Ken Eriksen, senior vice President, head of client advisory and development, energy and transportation, and Policy, IHS Markit, and Tom Blair, St. Louis District Engineer with the Missouri Department of Transportation. Sparger and Blair gave their presentations virtually.