Some Wisconsin agriculture groups are hoping to see more federal funding for rural infrastructure under the Trump administration.
More than 200 organizations from across the United States sent a letter to President Donald Trump this week, calling for a new focus on rural infrastructure needs.
The organizations say recent transportation investments have been directed to urban areas, leaving out the smaller roads and lock and dam systems used by farmers.
"Transportation begins on a gravel road in the middle of nowhere, and if we can't cross that first bridge, if we can't travel that first road, we effectively took the efficiency out of the entire food chain," said Tom Bressner from the Wisconsin Agri-Business Association.
Bressner said new infrastructure investments in South America have farmers worried about staying competitive.
"They're building everything new, and they're building everything as they go, and we're working with old infrastructure that's very slow and it's becoming more of a challenge to compete," Bressner said.
Jim Zimmerman from the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association said everything from farm equipment to river barges have grown in size and weight since infrastructure systems were built 40 to 60 years ago.
"We all recognize that we have outgrown the system that we have established for the last couple of generations, and it needs to be improved," Zimmerman said.
While the letter calls for more interest on the federal level, farmers are hopeful leaders in state government are also paying attention to the issue.
"Certainly the money needs to come from somewhere and hopefully they can find a way to work together on that," said Brad Kremer, president of the Wisconsin Soybean Association.
Read the original article from Wisconsin Public Radio.