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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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