FARM BUREAU: MISSOURI RIVERÆS ôSPRING RISEö THREATENS BARGE TRAFFIC
The American Farm Bureau Federation told lawmakers on Capitol Hill Wednesday that a proposed change in the Army Corps of Engineers’ management of the Missouri River’s flows would seriously hinder agricultural-related barge transport in the region.
It has been recommended to the Corps of Engineers by the Interior Department’s Fish and Wildlife Service and environmental groups to increase water flows in the spring and decrease them in the summer. They claim that management of the river for navigation purposes damages the habitat of some fish and birds.
Besides the damage to about a million acres due to a “spring rise,” the Farm Bureau said the resulting lower water levels on the Missouri River and on the Mississippi River down to Baton Rouge could disrupt the barge transportation of agricultural commodities.
“The prices farmers receive for commodities will decrease and the prices they pay for inputs such as fertilizer will rise if barge transportation is disrupted,” the Farm Bureau said to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power.