For the week ending April 27, barge grain movements dropped 10%, compared to the previous week, as the Upper Mississippi River continued to experience the effects of above-average rain and melt-off of historic snow falls, says USDA's Grain Transportation Report.
Year-to-date (YTD) grain shipments by barge are 8 million tons, 19% less than last year. YTD corn shipments by barge are 4 million tons, a notable change (31% less) than last year. Typically, as of May 1, there is continuous barge traffic on the Mississippi River between Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, and the Gulf of Mexico.
This year, navigation is blocked by the closure of several locks above St. Louis and by low bridge clearances in certain areas due to high water.