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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Winter Traffic on the Mississippi RIver

The Corps of Engineers is taking a lot of heat right now because of their decision to stick with their river management plan and reduce the flow of water in the Mississippi River.  The plan is in place because environmental groups have pressured the Corps to re-create river flows that reflect a more natural flow pattern in the river.  Like many plans that get set in stone by government agencies, it looks like a severe drought was not considered in developing the plan. 

60% of the grain for export in the United States is moved by barge on the Mississippi River system.  This article highlights the advantages of shipping grain in high capacity barges.  The ground transportation system cannot be a substitute at the level needed to meet the needs of our foreign customers.   Those customers may go elsewhere for their grain if they cannot get it from the United States.  The State Journal-Register also had a great article today on the importance of the Mississippi River to commerce.  The River Industry and Agriculture leaders have appealed to President Obama to overrule the Corps of Engineers.  It is withing his power to do so.  This crisis just seems to be another thing that leads toward that fiscal cliff. 

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