The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released a comprehensive report on agricultural transportation in the United States, the first ever of its magnitude. The report, entitled Study of Rural Transportation Issues, was mandated by the 2008 farm bill and covers the four major modes of transportation for agriculture: truck, rail, barge, and ocean vessel.
Based on data from 2007, the report notes that 73 percent of waterborne rice exports were shipped through the Mississippi Gulf, while 16 went by way of northern California and 8 percent via the Texas Gulf. That same year, about 54 percent of rice exports went to Mexico, Japan, Haiti, Canada, and Iraq. Other major markets included Latin America, East Asia, Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
USA Rice Federation members contributed information for the report about transportation modes used by the industry. USA Rice staff participated in agricultural-transportation coalition meetings about the study during the 2008 farm bill development process and subsequent to the bill's passage.