Last fall, the main topic of discussion with historically-low water levels on the Mississippi River and other navigable rivers. Now, high water levels are presenting a challenge to barge transportation, especially along the Upper Mississippi River levels.
Significant snowfall and rain over the past several weeks have resulted in a sizable increase in water levels. Many of the Mississippi River locks between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Quincy, Illinois, have been closed by the high water conditions. Many will likely stay closed until the first and second week of May.
Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, says, “Closures of these locks will obviously impede the delivery of any remaining soybeans or grain for the export markets. However, lock closures at this time of year will particularly impact northern fertilizer shipments.”
The USDA estimates that 2.4 million tons of fertilizer have been delivered during the first 12 weeks of 2023.