Eastern Iowa Farmers Hurting From Low Mississippi River Levels
Here in Eastern Iowa, we are no strangers to the Mississippi River. The massive river on our state’s eastern border separates us from Illinois and Wisconsin but connects us to important trade ports in Louisiana.
Some areas of the river are so low, there are places that were once only accessible by boat that Midwesterners are now walking to!
But while it can be fun to walk to places you may not have had access to in the past, these low water levels are going to cause slowdowns for our farmers.
The Mississippi River is the most effective way for eastern Iowa farmers to transport their crops.
According to an article in KWWL, around 52 percent of US soybean crops are exported through Louisiana after being transported down the Mississippi River.
With loading facilities up and down the river not able to effectively move product, they are less able to accept it through the front door.
This means people are having to look at other options for shipping which costs more.
Places are even offering farmers less money for the same amount of product to help keep stock levels low.
Lary Biss, president of Iowa Corn Promotion Boars and farmer told KWWL there aren’t many options for alternatives.
To accommodate by rail what goes in one barge probably takes 15, 16, 17 rail cars and probably takes 55 to 60 trucks.
Eight of the last ten months have seen below-average rainfall and looking ahead at winter predictions, it’s expected to be even dryer meaning relief is not on the horizon.