NGFA issues statement in response to final report on breaching the Lower Snake River Dams admin August 26, 2022

NGFA issues statement in response to final report on breaching the Lower Snake River Dams

ARLINGTON, Va., August 26, 2022 — A report commissioned by Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., recommends replacing the benefits of the Lower Snake River Dams (LSRD) before breaching them to save endangered salmon runs. In the final report published Aug. 25, they acknowledged that some industries relying on the dams would no longer be viable if the dams are breached in the current environment. While they stated that “the replacement and mitigation of their benefits must be pursued before decommissioning and breaching,” NGFA maintains that any action to breach the dams is not a viable option.    

“Barge transportation moves about half of all grain exports to export elevators and is critical to NGFA members in the Pacific Northwest. The Columbia-Snake River System is the third-largest grain export corridor in the world, transporting nearly 30 percent of U.S. grain and oilseed exports,” NGFA President and CEO Mike Seyfert said. “Breaching the Lower Snake River Dams in the Pacific Northwest would create severe economic harm to the entire U.S. agricultural value chain. Removing the LSRD will hurt producers and negatively impact the operations and livelihoods of NGFA members who have made investment decisions based on the ability to utilize barge transportation. While we appreciate Gov. Inslee and Sen. Murray recognizing the crucial role the LSRD play in the agricultural value chain, we must remain opposed to any actions by federal or state governments that could result in breaching these dams. The benefits of barge transportation to the agricultural value chain and the overall U.S. supply chain cannot be replaced by rail or truck transportation. Importantly, barges are the most environmentally friendly mode of transportation for grains and oilseeds with one four-barge tow moving as much grain as 144 rail cars or 538 semi-trucks.”


The NGFA, established in 1896, consists of grain, feed, processing, exporting and other grain-related companies that operate more than 8,000 facilities handling U.S. grains and oilseeds. Its membership includes grain elevators; feed and feed ingredient manufacturers; biofuels companies; grain and oilseed processors and millers; exporters; livestock and poultry integrators; and associated firms that provide goods and services to the nation’s grain, feed and processing industry. The NGFA consists of 27 affiliated State and Regional Grain and Feed Associations, is co-located and has a strategic alliance with North American Export Grain Association, and a strategic alliance with Pet Food Institute.