At the beginning of this year, closing the Mississippi River to barge traffic as a result of low water levels was a very real possibility, but that crisis has been averted thanks to some Army Corps of Engineers work.
“There was an emergency move by the Army Corps of Engineers to blast rocks out of the river floor at Thebes and Grant Tower, Illinois,” said Tracy Mack, director of bulk and packaged goods logistics for GROWMARK. “That added about two feet to the navigable channel between Memphis and St. Louis.”
That project was complete by the beginning of February, sooner than expected, and some timely rains also helped. “Because of the recent rains and the forecast rain right now, we’re not in imminent danger of closure,” Tracy said. “It’s looking that we have enough water to get us through the month of March at least if drought continues.”
It was a different situation when Tracy was a guest on the AgFanatics podcast in early January so he is glad it has improved.
Listen to my interview with Tracy here: GROWMARK's Tracy Mack