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View Diary: Drought and Low Water: The Mississippi May Be Unnavigable Within Weeks (191 comments)

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  •  More grain moving west... (5+ / 0-)

    Here on the Buffalo Ridge in SW MN. Those rail moves reflect more trade with China, which buys a quarter of U.S. soybeans. Low water on the upper Mississippi will hurt farmers though, as the north-south rail lines here in the midwest don't have as much capacity as the transcontinental east-west ones. That  pushes prices up for grain haulage, as rail costs twice as much as barge shipping and trucking way more. The author is correct about the shortage of rail hopper cars and grain trailers- This time of year grain shippers do everything short of felonies to get grain cars and used grain trailers are selling for darn near the price of new ones. As some small "consolation", thanks to climate change the northern ports of Duluth/Superior, Churchill, etc. are open longer.

    •  How does this interact with corn/soy shortages (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl, SadieSue

      and feed lots (which I understand use tons of water)? I thought the drought had severely cut the corn & soy harvests (and wheat too). That should mean less stuff needing transportation.

      Any way you look at it, this is likely to mean much higher prices for grains and therefore for meat -- not only in the US but around the world.

      Tell me again why we allow the oil/gas companies to use as much water as they want for fracking?

    •  But if grain can't be moved to overseas points (0+ / 0-)

      of departure, doesn't that mean that domestic buyers will benefit from large inventories?

      So even though it will hurt countries like China who depend on our soybeans, domestic industries and feedlots may see lower prices for corn and soybeans even though the crop was bad due to drought.

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