Last Friday, I was crossing the Ohio River and saw a barge floating. I wondered if it was hauling soybeans.

Many area farmers have been out in the field, or are getting very close to it. It’s not hard to drive around and at least hear a combine motor chomping down the harvest.

Seeing the barge and the facility made me wonder just where the grain is going or where its last stop will be.

Then on Monday, I was going through the Farm and Dairy from 25 years ago, looking for a nugget of interest to put in the Read it Again section. I found it ironic that the very thing I was watching float down the river was in the headlines 25 years ago and today is still very important to the farming community.

The D.W. Dickey Co., of Lisbon opened a new grain facility in East Liverpool this week in 1986. It was the first permanent barge-loading grain facility on the upper Ohio River. It featured two 80,000-bushel storage bins when constructed.

Probably when Allen Dickey was preparing to build it, there were naysayers who said it wasn’t needed or won’t work. Now, it is owned by Agland Co-Op and it is a place for farmers to sell their soybeans, popular with farmers in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

And, 25 years later, there is no doubt we operate in a global economy and China’s economy is growing so more soybeans is needed.

So as harvest moves along and we see the combines in the fields, it’s hard to image where all the soybeans and corn is really going once it leaves those fields and is loaded into those barges.

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses with her husband, Kurt. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism.
Kristy Foster Seachrist
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