As bad luck would have it, during the time period when the upper Mississippi River traditionally would open to barge traffic, the river reached flood level. From March 16 through June 19, Lock and Dam 15 at the Quad Cities was closed due to flooding. The water levels will likely remain above average through July, but the upper Mississippi River should remain open.
Reopening the waterway will provide farmers who need to move crops with an opportunity to export via the inland Mississippi waterways for the first time since early December. The lower water levels will also allow roads to reopen and needed repairs to occur. In addition to the waterways marketing chain being restored, domestic marketing supply chains are also being restored.