Port of Catoosa Impacts Far More Than Oklahoma AgricultureThu, 04 Sep 2014 17:08:00 CDT
The Port of Catoosa is important part of Oklahoma's agricultural economy as well as the entire region. Last week a media event was held at the Port of Catoosa to highlight the economic importance of having this inland water way. One of those presenting at the event was Gavilon Location manager Phil Guettermann, who is in charge of Gavilon's grain efforts at the Port of Catoosa where most commodities are brought in by truck or rail.
"We load up out about 98 percent onto barge to go down to the Gulf of Mexico," Guettermann said.
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm News Director Ron Hays was at the Port of Catoosa last Thursday where he interviewed Guettermann about the importance of the state's largest inland river-ports. (Click on the LISTEN BAR below for the full interview).
Gavillon has two facilities on the Port of Catoosa. One facility holds four million bushels and the newer facility on the east side holds 1.5 million bushels. These two facilities serve Oklahoma, southeast Kansas, southwest Missouri and a little bit of Arkansas.
"This is the furthest inland waterway, so we can access grain from the midwest to go directly onto barge," Guettermann said. "This is the quickest way to get grain down to the Gulf."
At the Port of Catoosa, Gavilion handles wheat, soybeans and milo. This time of year they are mostly handling hard red winter wheat. Being able to ship commodities by barge is an advantage for farmers in the region. Guettermann said it gives the farmer another close market to go with their grain in the Gulf.
Now through the end of November will be their busy time. Guettermann said they started in the middle of June with wheat harvest in dumping trucks and rail cars. Traffic will pick back up in about month when soybean harvest gets underway. He said they plan to ship a lot of soy beans to the Gulf of Mexico especially with the anticipated record breaking crop.
The port is also a hub for fertilizer shipments that are brought into Port of Catoosa and then trucked out to the countryside. Guettermann said they move many trucks daily of fertilizer products out to Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, as well as places further north like South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado.
Earlier this year Congress passed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014 which will provide funding for the navigational waterway system. Expansion of the Port of Catoosa will begin this year. The expansion project could cost as much as $10 million.
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