River Traffic Up as Harvest Ends
Barges leaving the northernmost Mississippi River areas
During the last half of November, barge movements typically increase as the corn and soybean harvests near completion and barges depart from the northern most reaches of the soon-to-be-closed Upper Mississippi River because of winter ice.
For the week ending November 11, 695 grain barges passed downbound on the locking sections of the Mississippi, Ohio, and Arkansas Rivers, for a total tonnage of 1.1 million tons. This was the highest weekly amount of barges on the locking portions of the river system since July.
Recent high water levels and repair work at Ohio River Locks and Dam (L&D) 52 have caused significant delays for downbound grain barges, as well as upbound empty barges on the Ohio River. Barge traffic will likely continue at high seasonal levels as navigation conditions at L&D 52 have improved.
In addition, as of November 12, the soybean harvest is 93% complete as compared to the 2012-2016 average of 95% ) and the corn harvest crop is 83% completed as compared to a 91 percent average.