Army Corps monitoring water levels in the Missouri River
The Army Corps of Engineers is monitoring water levels in the Missouri River to ensure ag transportation isn’t disrupted by drought.
Colonel Travis Rayfield, district commander for the Kansas City District of the Army Corps of Engineers, tells Brownfield they’ll release water from reservoirs to maintain a water level suitable for navigation. “The draft on the barges dictates how much material they could put in there. It also dictates the pricing rates. We wanted to be forthright and really partner with industry so that we could get a good, predictable environment to move up and down the river.”
Rayfield says dryness in the upper river basin in Montana has reduced water flows downstream and that could create potential barge traffic challenges.
He says it’s the Corp’s priority to identify and address navigation issues to keep barge traffic moving up and down the river. “Farmers can get their goods to market and items that are shipped like fertilizer or aggregate can get their goods to the market in both in Missouri or in Iowa or in Kansas or in Nebraska is really what we’re talking about for the networks they serve.”
Rayfield says they follow a water control manual to help release water from those reservoirs from April through November.
Colonel Travis Rayfield: