Mississippi River

Farmers Hope For River System Improvements

Jun 9, 2014
Rich Egger / Harvest Public Media

Farmers and ag groups in the Midwest say the U.S. river system needs an upgrade, and they’re hopeful it will come with proposed improvements in legislation recently passed by Congress.  

The nation’s rivers are essential for moving agricultural products to market.

“It’s our third coast, if you will,” said Jim Tarmann, field services director with the Illinois Corn Growers Association. “Over 60 percent of our grain exports move via the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. That’s how things get to our world markets.”

Jacob McCleland / Harvest Public Media

Southbound barges on the Mississippi River carry grain destined for world markets.

The Confluence / Flickr

As Mississippi River levels continue to drop, leaders from the river navigation industry sent a letter to President Obama asking for an emergency declaration. 

The Confluence / Flickr

The Army Corps of Engineers began shutting down flow from a South Dakota reservoir which feeds into Mississippi River, just north of St. Louis.