An Assessment of Indiana's Transportation Infrastructure and Its Economic Impact Relative to Grain Movement, Biofuels, Livestock, and Food Processing


Because infrastructure is important to corn and soybean marketing efforts, the study was conducted to analyze Indiana’s transportation infrastructure in six key agricultural counties. The study examined how transportation infrastructure impacts agribusiness economic development through grain elevators and terminal facilities, biofuel plants, livestock production and food processing. 

Key Findings

  • When infrastructure impedes traffic and the delivery of commodities and products, farmers delivering grain might have to take a 20 mile detour. These detours cost farmers
  • The cost of driving an additional 20 miles under a $2/gallon diesel price environment is 2 cents per bushel. If diesel prices raise to $4/gallon, the cost us 3 cents per bushel for corn and 4 cents for soybeans.
  • If a bridge closes for a sustained period of time and farmers haul their corn or soybeans over a detour route, the total impact on soybeans would range from $251 to $503 to move all the soybeans over the detour route. The annual impact would range from nearly $471 to $786 hauling soybeans.
  • Elevators could see 15 percent to 20 percent of its customers isolated due to bridge closures.  The cost to attract those farmers to the elevator can be significant. At varying diesel prices, the total annual extra cost for 15 farmers driving a 20 mile detour delivering corn and soybeans, the impact would range from nearly $3,800 at $2/gallon fuel to about $7,500 with fuel at $4/gallon fuel. 
  • While the above study concentrated on six key counties, ISA and ICMC also commissioned Informa Economics to look at each of the state's 92 counties

Indiana Country Bridge Infrastructure 2012

Researcher: Informa Economics 

For the full reports, contact director of grain Marketing, Rosalind Leeck at 1-800-735-0195.