SD Corn Thanks Johanns on DM&E Railroad Project

Reid Jensen, president of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association, met today with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns to thank him for the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) support of expanding and rehabilitating the DM&E Railroad across South Dakota and Minnesota.

 

“As a family farmer in Burbank, South Dakota, I have long been an active proponent in strengthening the farm community by expanding rail capacity,” Jensen said today after meeting with Johanns in Sioux Center, Iowa.  Johanns, touring an ethanol plant, announced funding to increase renewable energy projects. 

 

“The project to rehabilitate and strengthen DM&E’s rail system will help producers have more competitive options to transport not just grains, but ethanol to market,” Jensen said.  “DM&E is located right in the heart of ethanol country. With production growing in this area, our next challenge is getting it to the pumps for consumers in a safe, efficient manner. The DM&E expansion project would do exactly that.”

 

Six ethanol plants are located on DM&E and IC&E railroad lines with another two plants under construction for total projected annual production of 1 billion gallons of ethanol.

 

Earlier this year, USDA weighed in on the importance of the project to agriculture producers, specifically supporting DM&E’s application for a federal rail loan by saying:  

 

“The DM&E proposal would help ease rail capacity constraints in the Midwest caused by railroad industry consolidation and the loss of rail routes. … USDA supports rehabilitation of DM&E because it will enhance the ability of agricultural producers in the Midwest to move their products more efficiently and at lower costs.”

 

The Department added that the DM&E project “has the potential to benefit Midwest grain farmers, merchants and rural communities through increased marketing potential and economic development.”

 

The Department also testified before the federal Surface Transportation Board that the DM&E project would add up to 20 cents per bushel to the value of grains such as corn and wheat. USDA added that “rebuilding the DM&E will lower transportation costs, creating new opportunities for mutually beneficial exchange, which will aid consumers and producers.”

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