The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says flooding in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa is likely to shut down three locks later this week on the Mississippi River, a key waterway for shipping grain to southern ports. Two locks in Illinois and one in Missouri could close for two or three days and would effectively halt grain shipments over that time frame. A Reuters article says the flood-swollen Mississippi River is expected to crest at 18.3 feet on Saturday near New Boston, Illinois, and barge shippers have been instructed to be extra cautious in flooded areas due to much stronger currents. Grain volumes moving through the affected areas normally ramp up in the fall because of harvested crops moving downriver to shipping ports in the south along the Gulf Coast. The southern shipping ports account for 60 percent of all grains leaving the country. Excessive rains in southern Minnesota, northern Iowa, and western Wisconsin have swamped farmlands in those states and are causing concerns about the conditions of the corn and soybean crops ahead of the fall harvest.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.