As members of Congress weigh the merits of President Biden’s two-trillion dollar infrastructure plan, a report shows Iowa has nearly 1,800 bridges in need of repair or replacement.
Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Hill says infrastructure is a critical issue for farmers and ranchers. “Those bridges and those roads are incredibly important to get product into our farms and product off of our farms,” Hill says. “It’s just incredibly important to us that we have a very efficient transportation system.”
Hill says having a reliable infrastructure system is vital to the agricultural industry.
“Farmers buy everything retail and sell everything wholesale,” Hill says. “So, the inputs that we bring into our farms, fertilizer and diesel fuel and steel, in terms of our equipment, everything is transported and farmers will have to pay the cost of that transportation.”
The Biden infrastructure proposal is massive and Hill says it contains some promising elements. “But then there’s some features of that bill that are concerning,” Hill says. “There has been, for a very long time, a need for an infrastructure bill but I’m not so certain about a tax increase attached to it.”
Hill says Iowa’s farmers and ranchers need a solid lock-and-dam system, structurally efficient bridges and roads, as well as highways to ship their commodities domestically and internationally.
(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)