Culpeper Star-Exponent: Spanberger to USDA: address impacts of bridge collapse to Virginia farmers

CULPEPER STAR-EXPONENT

The only Virginian on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee is urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to address supply chain disruptions caused by the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore nearly two weeks ago.

The tragic collapse on March 26 could have a significant impact on domestic trade, international trade and farmers, producers and growers in Virginia and across the country, according to a release from U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-7th, on Monday.

The Port of Baltimore is the largest port by volume for handling farm and construction equipment like tractors, combines and hay balers, she stated.

In 2023, the port moved a record 1.3 million tons of roll-on/roll-off farm and construction machinery. It also handles billions of dollars in agricultural imports and exports — like sugar, soybeans, grains, coffee and grocery items — each year and is the largest entry point for wet and dry fertilizer in the nation, according to Spanberger.

Engineers working to clear the wreckage of the bridge said last week they expect to be able to restore navigation in and out of the Port of Baltimore by the end of this month, the Associated Press reported.

In a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Spanberger stressed the port’s vital role and emphasized impacts of the bridge collapse on transportation routes, agricultural markets and the operations of key terminals. The congresswoman urged the USDA to recognize the wide-ranging impacts of this incident, provide support to producers to mitigate the effects of supply chain disruptions and to communicate with Congress about the potential for congressional action.

“As the wreckage of the collapsed bridge obstructs the movement of ships to and from port terminals, I am concerned about the supply chain impacts. For example, the port’s significant role in handling Ro/Ro vehicles, particularly during this time of year, is of paramount importance to farmers. These vehicles transport essential agricultural equipment and machinery that is vital for operations, such as spring planting,” said Spanberger.

“Disruptions in the availability of these vehicles could create uncertainty for farmers, delay planting and cultivation activities and ultimately impact food prices. At a time when Americans continue to express concerns about food costs at the grocery store, the federal government should exercise all tools necessary to avoid rising costs resulting from this crisis.”

Recent Posts


Spanberger Backs Bipartisan Effort to Combat Child Sexual Abuse Material Created by Artificial Intelligence

The “Child Exploitation and Artificial Intelligence Expert Commission Act” Would Establish a Commission to Help Law Enforcement Prevent, Detect, & Prosecute AI-Generated Crimes Against Children WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger backed bipartisan legislation to crack down on the creation of child sexual abuse material using artificial intelligence (AI). In June 2023, the Federal Bureau […]



Jul 18, 2024
Agriculture

Spanberger Announces More Than $92,000 to Implement Nutrition Program at Carver Center in Culpeper County

These Federal Grant Dollars Will Help Implement a Program Using the Carver Food Enterprise Center’s Commercial Kitchen — Which the Congresswoman Helped Construct by Securing Federal Funds in 2022 — for Monthly Delivery of Local, Healthy Food to Virginia Students WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger announced that the Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission (RRRC) received […]



Jul 17, 2024
Press

Spanberger, Virginia Democrats Urge Governor Youngkin to Make IRS Direct File Available in Virginia & Help Virginians Avoid Fees

IRS Recently Opened Direct File to All 50 States After Successful Pilot, But Participation Requires Further Action by Youngkin Administration & Virginia General Assembly WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger and Members of Virginia’s congressional delegation urged Governor Glenn Youngkin to take the necessary steps to allow Virginians the option of using the Internal Revenue […]