Farmers plan for low Mississippi River impact

Two Illinois farmers say they are keeping a close eye on low Mississippi River levels and its impact on fall commodity prices.

“The Mississippi River is expected to be at – 3 feet in St. Louis by Labor Day. The record lows on the river in St. Louis is – 6 feet, but they can’t completely fill a barge at – 3 feet,” explains Daryl Cates, who farms in eastern Illinois. “That means freight prices down the Gulf of Mexico will be more expensive.”

Cates says more expensive freight prices show up in local prices and he is expecting the price of soybeans to move lower. His marketing plan includes storing the crop until prices improve. Kenneth Hartman, who farms in southern Illinois, says he has a similar marketing plan with some grain prices locked in ahead of harvest, but he tells Brownfield…

“For those who don’t have grain bin storage, it can be an interesting situation.”

Hartman and Cates say harvest will begin in the next few weeks. Brownfield interviewed the farmers at the Farm Progress Show.

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