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					       The Importance of Grain to the
       Ohio River Navigation System




Clark Maritime Center, Ohio River Mile 597.3, owned by the Indiana Port Commission and
Operated by Consolidated Grain and Barge

The Ohio River basin’s fourth largest commodity group is grain. There were 144 waterside grain
elevators, plants and terminals in the basin, which shipped or received grain by barge in 1998. Ohio
River System waterways serve grain shippers primarily by affording access to the export and
industrial markets for grain. These markets have been the most dynamic sector of the grain market
and the strong growth in grain traffic in the basin reflects the prominence of these sectors in
waterborne movements. Large movements of grains are made by water out of the basin to the
export market through lower Mississippi River ports. The only other significant movements of
barged grains are those to the South, most importantly to processors in the Tennessee River Valley.
Grain shipments on the Ohio River basin’s waterways totaled just over 14 million tons in 1998, or
5.1% of all barge cargo. Of this amount, just less than 3.9 million tons were shipped into the basin
from outside. Over 9.3 million tons were shipped out of the basin, and over 900 thousand tons
moved within the O hio River System. The 14 million tons moving by barge in 1998 had a
combined value of over $2.7 billion, which is over 8.25 per cent of the value of the basin’s
commodities moving by water. 1998 was the fourth year in history with more than 14 million to ns
on grain moved on Ohio River Basin waterways.

The largest grain commodity that moves by barge in the basin is corn. Almost all of the nearly 5.1
million tons of corn which moved in 1998 fell into one of two categories: moving from the upper
Mississippi or Illinois River to the Tennessee River for processing; or moving from the lower Ohio
River to the lower Mississippi River for export. Soybeans are the second ranking waterborne grain.
The leading processed grain product is animal feed preparations.

                             Ohio River Basin Barge Traffic - 1998
                                 Grain                    Tonnage
                    Corn                                          5,090,439
                    Soybeans                                      3,757,530
                    Oilseeds                                      2,214,436
                    Animal Feed Preparations                      1,885,936
                    Wheat                                           853,480
                    Oats                                            110,225
                    Grain Mill Products                              66,158
                    Sorghum Grains                                   61,046
                    Barley & Rye                                     27,040
                    Rice                                             11,264
                    TOTAL                                        14,077,554
                    Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterborne Commerce
                    Statistics
Most of the grain that moved by barge in the Ohio River basin originated in Illinois. Corn, oilseed,
soybeans and animal feed preparations were shipped out of Illinois on the Ohio, Mississippi and
Illinois Rivers.

                                  Ohio River Basin Barge Traffic
                                  Grain Shipped by State – 1998
                                      (values in millions of $)
                         State      Tonnage        Value         Leading Grain
                    Illinois        5,380,183      $1,128.0          Corn
                    Indiana         2,270,443        $401.7          Corn
                    Kentucky        2,146,431        $443.3          Corn
                    Ohio            1,157,990        $204.4          Corn
                    Minnesota         850,624        $121.9          Corn
                    Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterborne Commerce
                    Statistics

The main destinations for grain barges originating in the basin were export facilities in Louisiana.
Within the basin, processing plants in Decatur and Guntersville Alabama and Loudoun and
Chattanooga Tennessee were major destinations for corn and other grains.

                                  Ohio River Basin Barge Traffic
                                  Grain Received by State – 1998
                                      (values in millions of $)
                        State        Tonnage        Value         Leading Grain
                   Louisiana         9,178,115      $1,978.2          Corn
                   Alabama           3,204,555        $460.9          Corn
                   Tennessee           671,676         $73.1          Corn
                   Kentucky            391,780         $81.8        Soybeans
                   Illinois            332,622         $66.9        Soybeans
                   Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterborne Commerce
                   Statistics

Since 94% of the grain shipped by water in the Ohio River basin enter or leave the basin, the lower
Ohio River Locks passed the most grain tonnage in 1998. Locks and Dam 53 moved 9.76 million
tons of grain. Watts Bar Lock and Dam on the Tennessee River had the highest percentage of grain
tonnage, with over 800 thousand tons of grain of its 1.7 million total tons, for 47%.

				
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posted:11/10/2010
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