Ice Formations Disrupting Barge Traffic

This article has been reprinted from the Jan. 4 Grain Transportation Report.

Extremely cold weather throughout the central U.S. has caused ice accumulations on portions of the rivers and at locks and dams. 

For the week ending December 30, downbound grain barge tonnages at Mississippi River Locks 27 (near St. Louis) were down 27 percent, mostly due to a decrease in soybean movements. 

However, due to better navigation conditions and no repair delays, downbound grain tonnages at Ohio River Locks and Dam 52 were up 24 percent for the same period. 

With the cold temperatures and icy conditions, grain barge rates, as of January 2, rose 15 percent for export grain on the Illinois River and 9 percent on the Mississippi River at St. Louis as compared to last week. 

As of January 3, barge operators have reported that all operations on the Illinois River have ceased due to heavy ice.