Policy and Planning

Spatial Analysis of Agriculture Supply Chain to Assess Transportation Impacts

Efficient agriculture movement is critical to Minnesota’s economic health. In the past two decades, the agriculture supply chain experienced a number of market, technological, and policy innovations that have directly influenced the way producers and wholesalers navigate their local freight networks. With producers’ reliance on rural and urban roadways projected to grow, so too are concerns for accelerated pavement degradation, intermodal bottlenecks and shipment delays along congested freight corridors. To address these concerns, last year MnDOT reissued their Statewide Freight System Plan outlining the importance of adapting freight network resiliency to evolving supply chain operations. This study is designed to contribute to this MNDOT goal by using innovative spatial analysis tools to effectively model agricultural flow patterns across key trucking corridors and shifting supply chain conditions. This analysis will be complemented by qualitative interviews with agriculture supply chain stakeholders to provide insight into the trends and conditions identified through the spatial analysis.


Idea Submitted by : Lee Munnich

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : University of Minnesota, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Jon Huseby, District Engineer, MnDOT District 8 (Willmar)

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

As rural and urban roads assume a more exaggerated responsibility for connecting agricultural products to the market place, local freight planners are increasingly seeking informed, innovative solutions to address the growing industry’s transportation needs.

Outcomes of this study can inform MnDOT district and strategic freight network investments. Specific potential benefits include:

-identification of trends in specific districts of the state, that can inform local decision making, such as roadway improvement priorities

-identification of statewide trends, that can inform strategic freight investments

-provision of maps than can be used to facilitate a broader understanding of agriculture supply chain and transportation implications, including among the public and policy makers.

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : Joint MnDOT/LRRB Research


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Idea No. 135