Navigation along the Mississippi River and St. Lawrence Seaway is starting to see relief

Mississippi River.jpg

There are finally some improvements along the Mississippi River.

Week-over-week, 35 percent more barges were unloaded in New Orleans, meaning more goods are making their way down to ports. But, barges are carrying 30 percent less, which is impacting producer profits as shipping costs are still elevated compared to normal.

USDA says farmers are making about $2 less per bushel of both corn and soybeans. The Army Corps of Engineers is continuing its dredging operations in St. Louis.

Water levels in Canada’s St. Lawrence River are starting to go down, too. It is causing concern as many U.S. farmers are using the seaway to ship their products because of the troubles on the Mississippi. A Canadian grain farmer shares what he is experiencing.

“If you had corn or beans to move right now in the Hamilton area, with 3 major exporters, Parish and Heimbecker, G-3, and Richardson’s all with no bid for corn, and local elevators that rely on taking their grain into the port to get exported, they’re backed up. I’m worried, I kind of rely on ports. We’re in Ontario, right? We produce more grain than we can use here. Especially corn, we export it. I think this stuff’s going to have to wait until spring,” said Jeff Barlow.

U.S. and Canadian officials are considering boosting water flow on the eastern end of Lake Ontario to improve conditions for commercial ship traffic on the St. Lawrence Seaway. Ag products from Great Lakes ports account for about 40 percent of the trade along this river.