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Low levels on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers are a system-wide problem. Now Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Mike Strain has joined a growing chorus of voices in asking President Obama to stop the Army Corps of Engineers from reducing the flow of water into the Missouri River, which hugs Iowa’s western border and sweeps through the state of Missouri to connect with the Mississippi River near St. Louis. Reducing flow in the Missouri could have serious repercussions on the movement of a full 60% of the nation’s grain products and 20% of American coal products which pass through the Mississippi River system.
Strain says farmers will have to pay more to ship their goods, consumers will pay more for the goods they receive and products from grain elevators and production facilities will not be sold and exported to other markets.
Already 15 Senators, 62 Representatives and three state governors including Governor Branstad have urged the White House to issue a presidential declaration of emergency along the Mississippi River.