This past weekend, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began reducing water flows from the upstream Missouri River dam. The resulting impact moved the pinch point for river navigation further upstream from Memphis, Tennessee to St. Louis, Missouri. Lower levels coming from the Missouri River will lead to longer dredging operations on the Mississippi.

While barge movements will continue to be slow, the New Orleans area grain terminals reported a 35% increase in barges they unloaded compared to the week prior. However, farmers along the Mississippi are feeling the brunt of the drought-reduced water transportation. Some farmers have reported receiving upwards of $3 less per bushel for both corn and soybeans. Economic losses are hard to quantify for the shallow river, but likely amount to billions of dollars, according to analysts.

Read more on Mississippi River challenges here.