“It’s Really Bad": Producers describe Mississippi River’s levels impact on their crops

Water levels along the nation’s largest ag transportation corridor have not seen much improvement lately, and it could not come at a worse time with harvest season in full swing.

A fourth-generation farmer along the Mississippi is feeling the impact first-hand.

“It’s bad. It’s really bad. From September the 15th to the end of September, the basis on soybeans went from maybe a positive five to ten cents now to at one point in time, ten days ago was negative $1. So, and that was just because of barge freight, and they were having to change it daily, because barge freight was changing daily. For instance, today, I’m wanting to apply lime to my fields, through my soil test. There are three barges sitting at the facility at the port that they can’t get to the unloading spout. They’ve been trying to do that for two weeks. So, it’s basically a train wreck down here right now with the river.”

Around 60 percent of Midwest grain moves along the Mississippi River. A report from the Ag Marketing Service shows conditions are similar to last year with draft and tow restrictions currently in place.

At the end of September, barge movement from Granite City, Illinois was 35 percent lower than last year and 53 percent below the three-year average.