Dredging of Mississippi River to start this fall

A new project to make the Mississippi River deeper will begin this fall. It is a public-private partnership that has involved agriculture from the beginning. This Week in Louisiana Ag shows how it will be a big boost.

Soybeans start in the fields in Louisiana, but as harvest season gets closer, they will headed to the Mississippi River. According to farmer Charles Cannatella, “60 percent of all our soybeans come down the Mississippi River and exported out. That’s just a lot of grain to be moved worldwide. The cheaper you can move it out the better; the more competitive you are the more you’re going to be able to sell.”

The United Soybean Board, and several other soybean groups, helped fund research for the project. Some dredging will be finished this year.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’s Rickey Boyett states, “For this year, we are looking at starting this process to deepen in the fall, late fall, September/October time frame. Fortunately, we have the money in hand to do the work in the southwest. So, that will be our first focal area. We’ll start working there this year...”

Boyett says that overall the project will costs about $120 million dollars. However, the return on investment will pay for itself in in two years.