As drought continues to slow or stop barge traffic on the Lower Mississippi River, rail and truck outlets are now hauling grain to the gulf. The number of rail carloads from St. Louis to the Mississippi Gulf in October nearly doubled compared to last year, with higher rates to match. According to National Grain and Feed Association CEO Mike Seyfert, a rail car on the secondary market is costing upwards of $2,200 to move, compared to $150 a year ago. Trucking rates have also increased in response to the growing demand.
Grain elevators will need to remain flexible, especially during the busiest soybean export time of the year. With lighter barges going down the river, longer load times are necessary and less product can move. Drudging can help, but it requires complete river closures. No matter how you look at it, getting grain to the gulf is no easy task in 2022.
Read more on rail and truck grain hauling to the Gulf here.
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