Flooding Continues to Disrupt Barge Traffic

This article has been reprinted from the Feb. 18 USDA Grain Transportation Report.

Intense spring storms with heavy precipitation, combined with snowmelt runoff, continue to cause flood-related navigation disruptions for most of the nation’s river systems.

For the week ending April 13, only two Mississippi River Locks (Locks and Dam 26 and 27) reported any grain barge traffic.

Year-to-date total grain shipments are 27 percent lower than the 3-year average.

Spot barge rates of export grain from major originating points has been declining for 3 weeks as many shippers are not looking to buy barge services with the constant highwater conditions.

In addition, barge operators are reporting that some river elevators are not buying grain, as on-going flood conditions can result in damage to grain stored near the river.