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Low water on the Mississippi River impacting barge traffic

Parts of the Mississippi River are so low from weeks of drought that barge traffic is being limited at the worst possible time — as crop harvests begin.

Some Mississippi River communities between St. Louis and New Orleans may see record low water levels in the coming days, including Caruthersville, Missouri, and Osceola, Arkansas.

Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say that normally, tows are able to move 36 barges at a time. With the water level so low, shippers have voluntarily agreed to cut that to 25 barges.

Corn and soybeans harvested in the early fall need to be moved, and barges are vital in getting the commodities from one place to another.

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