Several Factors Causing Decrease in Mississippi Barge Traffic

by Brian Wilson
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The number of train cars carrying grain across the state dropped in July.  The D-O-T’s Stuart Anderson told the Transportation Commission July continues what has been a downward trend.

Commissioner Ray Gaesser of Corning is a grain farmer and says exports have slowed down substantially.

Gaesser says one of the factors is competition from South America.

Gaesser says production was down last year too, and the carryover of supply of corn is up 30 percent from one year ago. Hauling grain on water is also an issue as Anderson says water levels have been dropping since June on the Mississippi River and are expected to continue to drop. 

Anderson says that requires more barges to haul the same amount of grain — which causes other issues.

He says this year could end up being as challenging as it was last year when there were significant impacts on the transport and barge rates.

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