Upgrades that Positively Impact Producers and the Environment

We’ve tackled a number of substantial infrastructure projects across our territory to upgrade the efficiency and convenience of our facilities.

Our vision is one of continued growth in capacity, capabilities and reach, for both our business and that of our growers. Since Agspring formed Big River in 2013, we’ve tackled a number of substantial infrastructure projects across our territory to upgrade the efficiency and convenience of our facilities for our growers, customers and vendors.

We’re seeing results and sharing success stories. Take Lake Providence, for example. In 2014, key improvements to the Lake Providence facility were identified:

  • Four high-capacity truck pits
  • 10,000 BPH tower dryer
  • Four 60,000 bushel hopper tanks
  • 250,000 bushel storage tank
  • Two truck scales
  • Hydraulic probes
  • Automatic belt sampler for barges

As of today, the result was a gain of 12.5 million bushels loaded on the water this year, or an increase of 167 percent. This is the equivalent of more than 10,000 truckloads for export directly attributable to Big River Rice and Grain infrastructure improvements.

Using barges instead of trucks resulted in a projected savings of more than 647,000 gallons of diesel fuel and more than 14 million tons of GHG emissions.*

The addition of truck scales reduced the average wait time by 90 minutes. The average sixteen-wheel truck burns 4/5 of a gallon per hour while its engine idles. With an annual fuel savings of about 72 gallons, CO2, N2O, CH4 and total CO2 emissions were reduced by than one metric ton. Air pollutants SO2 and NOx were also reduced by nearly one metric ton each. When you multiply that reduction by the number of truckloads replaced by barge, the magnitude of the impact becomes clearer. To see more information on current diesel prices and how this impacts producers, visit the U.S. Energy Administration Emission update: https://www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel/. Not only was overall customer service improved, but these efforts greatly impact the environment.

What’s next?

Big River is currently making additional upgrades to the Lake Providence barge-loading belt with a June completion date. The updates include:

  • Increasing the barge-loading belt speed from 30,000 bushels per hour to 50,000 bushels per hour (nearly doubling barge-loading capacity).
  • Replacing the barge-loading downspout with new mechanical downspout. This will also increase barge-loading efficiency.
  • Purchasing a new small “push” boat to move barges in and out of the downspout. This will help reduce switch times in between barges during harvest.

To learn more about Big River and we can do for you, visit http://bigriverriceandgrain.com.

*SOURCE: http://business.tenntom.org/why-use-the-waterway/shipping-comparisons/