The brutally cold arctic air that’s covered the U.S. at different times this winter has caused an unusually high buildup of ice in some of the nation’s waterways. Portions of the Mississippi, Illinois, and Ohio Rivers that are open year-round have become smaller, or closed entirely, due to ice buildup. Mike Steenhoek of the Soy Transportation Coalition says it’s impacting our ability to export soybeans.
Which makes the inland waterway delivery system a much-less efficient way to move soybeans. The ice buildup has also made it much more difficult to secure empty barges and is affecting the entire grain-logistics system.
Even as the weather has warmed up, Steenhoek says it will take a while for those obstructed areas to clear up.
This will hit some producers in the pocketbook up and down the waterways. Shipping interference like this will cause barge loading operations to lower the price they’ll pay to farmers for their soybeans simply because they can’t ship it out as fast as usual.
Steenhoek says the shipping slowdown has come at a bad time of year for the soybean industry.
Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.