Informing post-disaster restoration through modeling interdependent agriculture and transportation networks

Agriculture (ag) supply chains are of utmost importance for the function of society. Ag supply chains are inherently complex due to their interdependency with critical infrastructure systems including energy, water, and maritime and multimodal transportation. This complexity is increased due to the dependence on time-sensitive and capital-intensive operations, uncertain natural events, and volatile commodity markets as well as their position within rural and low socioeconomic communities. When functioning, the U.S. transportation network provides a backbone that enables the transport of ag inputs (e.g., chemicals, seeds) and outputs (e.g., raw/processed goods). However, disruptions to transportation mode(s) cause severe and cascading operational and economic damage, which are magnified due to the inherent complexity of ag supply chains. For example, Hurricane Harvey’s impact on ports and rail was detrimental to ag because it occurred during harvest. Delays on inland waterways impacted the timely delivery of necessary fertilizers. Existing approaches fail to capture how these important details – including different transportation modes, sensitivity to time and decentralized geographic space, and the economic impacts for rural communities – impact how transportation should be used when a disruption has occurred and how to coordinate restoration activities across interdependent infrastructure systems. The research team proposes to develop models which determine how to effectively use transportation and coordinate restoration efforts to make ag supply chains more resilient. These models will be run on real data representing components across the agricultural supply chain, multimodal transportation network, and other critical infrastructures, which will lead to contributions and insightful analysis into the resiliency of these systems.


    • English


    • Status: Completed
    • Funding: $247137
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Maritime Transportation Research and Education Center

      University of Arkansas
      Fayetteville, AR  United States  72701
    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

      4190 Bell Engineering
      Civil Engineering
      Fayetteville, Arkansas  United States  72701
    • Principal Investigators:

      Nurre, Sarah

      Sullivan, Kelly

      Runkle, Benjamin

    • Start Date: 20180813
    • Expected Completion Date: 20210531
    • Actual Completion Date: 20211201
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01718314
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Maritime Transportation Research and Education Center
    • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747130
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Sep 26 2019 9:28PM