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BrownfieldAgNews reports:

Commodity groups are among those urging actions to help drought-affected navigation on the Mississippi River. Shane Kinne, Missouri Corn Growers Association public policy director, says they are pleased with help from lawmakers.

"They've been extremely responsive, both elected officials in Missouri and Illinois and a few other states. Recently, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) had a meeting with Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) and they sat down with Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo Ellen Darcy to discuss this issue," Kinney says that has resulted in actions being taken, starting today, to begin removing rock pinnacles hampering barge movement on the river near Thebes, Illinois.

In addition, water is beginning to be released from reservoirs in the Kaskaskia River system in southwestern Illinois that Kinne says will add another six inches to the river level.

Typically this time of year, he says, 25 full barges are carrying grain down the Mississippi. He tells Brownfield Ag News, "At this point in time, barges are being filled to about 50 or 60 percent of their normal capacity and at the same time only moving 10 together at a time. So, that increases costs of shipping as well as slows down how fast you can ship crops down the river."

Kinne says these measures will help even though the Corps of Engineers is not allowing more water flows from the Missouri River into the Mississippi. He adds that precipitation would help the most. Kinne says they also appreciate the support of the administration and the current work that the Corps is doing to alleviate navigation troubles.

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