River issues slow barge traffic – Brownfield Ag News

Low water levels and lock and dam repairs have been slowing barge traffic on the Mississippi River system and causing basis levels to widen.Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, says the aging lock and dam system continues to be a major concern. Locks and Dam 53 on the Ohio River was shut down for about 24 hours this week to fix a hydraulic system used to operate the lock gates. That follows the recent closure of adjacent Locks and Dam 52 in mid-September.“If you had a failure at one of those facilities of significant duration, for a number of weeks or even a month during harvest season, it would really have a seismic effect on the agriculture industry,” Steenhoek says.Locks and Dams 52 and 53 are scheduled to be replaced by the new Olmsted Locks and Dam in 2018.  But Steenhoek says there are numerous other lock and dam sites in degraded condition that do not have major rehabilitation or replacement on the near horizon.

Source: River issues slow barge traffic – Brownfield Ag News