Dropping Mississippi River levels affect your wallet

As the water levels in the Mississippi River continue to plunge toward historic lows, it threatens not only barge traffic, but your wallet.

FOX13 found out there are a lot of things we use that could be affected. Agricultural and economic experts tell us those lowering water levels could hit consumers in the wallet, but they don’t know how much or when it will hit.

”As far as consumers go, we just don’t know. The stocks on some of these commodities, there may be enough in the pipeline right now, but longterm if the river stays down, the consumers are going to feel the effects of it,” Anthony Bland said.

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Tunica County’s Anthony Bland is a rice and soybean farmer. He’s been doing this for 20 years. He also worked for the farm extension service for 26 years. He said the same thing agriculture experts at Mississippi State University told us: Right now, how the drought affects consumers depends on how long things slow down on the Mississippi River, and how long grain can’t be moved.

They also say these grains are important.

“Soybeans we use as feed, we use the oil for vegetable oil, it is made from soybean oil, but we also use the soybeans for feed for livestock production and catfish feed.” Bland said.

Agriculture experts tell us beef production is being affected by the drought nationwide and rice prices are going up.

RELATED: Mississippi River level dropping, impacting Memphis businesses    

Bland said right now the big issue facing farmers is where to store the grain they’ve harvested. The problem is a lot of grain elevators aren’t taking new deliveries because they can’t be moved on the river.

Bland said the hope is the river level increases soon.

”If the river increases it won’t be a major factor, but if it stays dry it will be a major factor in our supply chain and getting our grain down to port,” Bland said.

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