Farm Progress America, November 8, 2023

Mike Pearson examines the good things happening on the river and in seaway transportation in the United States.

November 8, 2023

Mike Pearson tells us about some good news happening on the grain superhighways here in the USA and something to look out for in the Panama Canal.

The Mississippi River set a record low mark October 17 at Memphis with a record of 11.999 feet below average.

However, rain has been falling and it boosted levels and the barges increased hauled. So much so that water levels have increased by 5 feet at Memphis. The rain fall improved conditions enough to allow barges to haul 43 percent more tonnage then before the rainfall one week ago.

In fact, New Orleans was able to unload 667 grain barges. There are still some strict regulations facing the Mississippi River traffic.

Another good thing happening in seaway transportation was the strike was settled on the St. Lawrence Seaway. The contract was ratified by 87 percent of the workforce and now they are working to clear the backlog of barges.

Now, there are two grain super highways open in the United States.

However, the Panama Canal is not in such good shape. The water in the canal is at the lowest level since 1950. The decision has been made to cut ships from 32 to 18 per day which can use the canal. This year alone, the rainfall in Panama has been down by 41 percent.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Mike Pearson, farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

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