It’s a message that’s consistent across the farming and rural community, the infrastructure in America is in desperate need of upgrades and improvements. The American Farm Bureau is hopeful that Congress will get to work on legislation that would authorize spending on those needed improvements.
“Infrastructure as a whole is extremely important for agriculture,” AFBF economist Megan Nelson said. “And connecting rural areas to the global economy is of utmost importance. So, in those terms, I would say broadband, ensuring that rural roads and bridges are able to handle agricultural equipment, and make sure that we’re still maintaining our competitive advantage when exporting agricultural products.”
She said infrastructure improvements and upgrades would give U.S. farmers a competitive advantage against countries like Brazil.
“Being able to ensure that our rural roads and bridges are able to carry certain loads and not break down and not have to cause extra time and costs,” Nelson continued. “It’ll be really important. Additionally, to broadband, there’s an estimated $65 billion that rural areas could see annually if broadband was available at the demand levels.”
Nelson noted there would be tremendous economic benefits to having new broadband infrastructure in place.
“We really do think that we could see tremendous benefits with nearly $13.1 billion in annual benefits to row crops, and $13.3 billion to specialty crops, and nearly $21 billion is estimated to be benefiting livestock. And, that’s just with broadband alone. With roads and other connectivity, really it’s pretty limitless.”
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