Lower Mississippi River still dealing with low water issues

by | Apr 11, 2024 | 5 Ag Stories, News

With the drier weather that persisted over the past few years, and with historically low snowpacks this winter, the Mississippi River is not going to be returning to more normal levels anytime soon. This is especially true in the lower regions of the river system, where there are no lock and dam systems to help regulate the water levels. The upper system and its tributaries enjoy this level of water control.

Jason Selking is a Regional General Manager with Consolidated Grain and Barge. He says that the situation we have been dealing with these past years has had a ripple effect on grain shipments and ag freight moving up and down the river system to the Midwest.

The reduced capacity has had an impact on grain prices that farmers are getting from their local elevators. The basis has fluctuated with the ups and downs of these facilities being able to move those products efficiently.

Selking says that farmers need to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself because we have no way of predicting the weather and the quality of the water flow will affect our prices and chances to move our grains. Make sure you are watching for your chance.

Selking says that we need to keep advocating for ourselves in the halls of Congress as well. We need to remind lawmakers that this is a serious situation, and they need to look at projects that can help us adapt to the situation we are in, and get the river systems working for our good.

The Mississippi River set low-level records in each of the past two years around the Memphis area. This is a region of the river that is vital for ag trade but also can create some of the biggest headaches along the route.