Mississippi River Drought Imperils Trade on Vital US Waterway – BNN Bloomberg

Drought depleted river levels so much that in some spots vessels are getting stuck. One shipping company said low water levels are causing severe impacts to navigation not seen since 1988. It’s a key concern for transporting goods from a river basin that produces 92% of the nation’s agricultural exports, especially during harvest season.Read more: Dwindling Mississippi grounds barges, threatens shipments

The Mississippi River is the main artery for US crop exports, with covered barges full of grain floating to terminals along the Gulf of Mexico. Petroleum and imported steel also transit through sections of the waterway as does fertilizer traveling from New Orleans. The dryness — and the low water levels it brings — imperils such commerce. In 2012, for instance, the Great Plains drought led to $35 billion in losses for the US, including closing the river at least three times.

Mississippi River Drought Imperils Trade on Vital US Waterway – BNN Bloomberg