Farmers Affected By Low Water Levels on Mississippi River

by Lauren Boisvert
(Image Credit: Sergio Mendoza Hochmann/Getty Images)

The water level on the Mississippi River is dropping, and farmers are being affected. They’re having to wait hours to get their grain onto the elevators and barges because the water is so low.

Outside a grain elevator on Mhoon Landing Road in Tunica County, Mississippi, FOX13 out of Memphis reports that lines are backed up with trucks loaded down with soybeans and grains. Farmers can’t get their products onto elevators or barges and onto the river for hours on end. The elevator on Mhoon Landing Road is the only one that’s operable because the water is so low everywhere else.

”They tell me they are closed in Memphis and in Friars point and in Greenville and in Rosedale because of the river,” Melvin Young, a truck driver delivering soybeans, said to FOX13.

It’s possible the low water level and subsequent backups could cause issues and rising prices for consumers as well. Once grain and beans become a rarely-seen luxury, prices will go up significantly. But, there’s still no word on when consumers could see a shift in prices. For now, grain and soybeans used in cattle, catfish, pork, and poultry feed are seeing astronomical delays. This is raising prices on those particular products.

Grain Elevator and Barge Delays Due to Low Water Levels on Mississippi River Mean Rising Prices On Grains and Soybeans

”Well if the farmers can’t get the crops out then it will mess up everything, food prices will go up, fuel prices will increase,” said Ward Cobin of Lambert, Mississippi.

Many other farmers and truck drivers weighed in on the situation. FOX13 interviewed them on the scene of the backup. Henry Thompson of Sledge said, “The barges, the river is so low you can’t move the barges right now so without those barges moving these beans can’t leave and if they can’t leave we can’t bring them in.”

“I been here since 6:30 [a.m.] and I bet I probably haven’t moved a foot,” said Jerry Jones of Crenshaw. ”It has been smooth in the past we go out and we pick up grain and dump and pick up grain and go back and dump and everything goes smooth.” Henry Cole of Tunica County claimed he’d sat for 9 hours waiting to move his truck and drop off his soybeans.

Farmer Pleads With Biden Administration About ‘Food Crisis’

National Black Farmers Association President John Boyd Jr. spoke with Fox News on September 23, claiming the Biden Administration is “not standing” with American farmers. Boyd spoke about Biden’s $178 million investments in international food projects, as well as climate and environmental projects. He claimed that the President is doing nothing for the American “food crisis.”

Boyd claims that there is money for Ukrainian farmers, but apparently no money for American farmers. “There is no money to help American farmers here in the worst situation in this food crisis,” he explained. “Facing high cost of inflation, high cost of imports, and all these things, diesel, fertilizer, and we have farmers facing farm foreclosures.

President Biden has stated that he supports American farmers and families. But, Boyd claims that the President hasn’t kept his word.