Shipping Slowdown: Officials at the Panama Canal are forced to take drastic moves

Even though the growing season has come to a close for most U.S. producers, drought is still taking a toll on the ag sector.

Just this week, officials with the Panama Canal announced they are slashing available trip times on the major trade route.

They are cutting daily transits in half this winter due to low water levels. The canal has seen the driest October on record, and as a result, only 25 ships are allowed through a day now, then 22 next month, 20 in January, and 18 in February.

In October, 32 ships passed the locks each day but 40 ships made the passage during normal conditions. Right now, 98 ships are waiting to cross the canal on both sides, and tankers carrying oil and gas could be trapped for weeks.