Home Indiana Agriculture News Growing Concern for Mississippi River

Growing Concern for Mississippi River


Concern about the Mississippi River is growing as ice is further reducing water levels. Some now predict barge traffic could come to a halt in the next two weeks. The river level is projected to drop another three-feet at the river gauge in Thebes, Illinois on January 7th – which equates to a ten-foot deep channel or nine-foot operating draft on barges. As such – the Army Corps of Engineers expects new limitations on river traffic will go into place. With no relief in sight – it’s predicted the river gauge at Thebes will indicate an eight-foot depth come January 23rd. The Coast Guard has indicated traffic will remain open – but the Waterways Council and the American Waterways Operators have suggested that further limitations on barges would result in a de facto closure as commercial traffic grinds to a halt.

National Corn Growers Association Chairman Garry Niemeyer says the drought is certainly at the core of the current issues on the Mississippi River – but adds that the situation also highlights the need for infrastructure improvements. He notes NCGA has been pushing for lock and dam upgrades since 1993 – but the federal government has failed to respond. According to Niemeyer – we will lose valuable markets if we continue to ignore our infrastructure.

Source: NAFB News Service