Friday, January 11, 2013
The Mississippi River is critical to the livelihood of many
Illinois farmers and Illinois Farm Bureau works to make sure
Washington understands that.
This week, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, and U.S. Rep. Bill
Enyart, D-Belleville, joined IFB's Vice-President Richard Guebert,
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, and River
Industry Executive Task Force for a tour of the area where the
corps is removing bedrock pinnacles near Thebes.
After the tour, Enyart noted that the Mississippi River is
"where we're feeding the world, and if we can't get those soybeans
and corn down, then the consumers of those agricultural products
are in trouble until Brazil, Argentina and some of the South
American countries' crops start coming in.
He continued, "We want to make sure we get those products to
market, that we get those sales so that we keep that money flowing
into our economy."
Durbin stated that President Obama was well aware of the
situation. "I know that the president is viewing this very
personally, very seriously. Two weeks ago in a staff meeting, he
raised this question: 'What's going on with the Mississippi River?'
At which point I got in touch with the White House, and we started
working with other agencies, and their basic message to me was, 'Do
what it takes to keep that river open.' And we are determined to
make that happen."
Rock removal is under way about 150 miles south of St. Louis. It
has helped maintain a 9-foot channel needed to keep barges moving,
but limits the hours of navigation. The Corps blasts 16 hours a
day, allowing barges to pass for only eight hours daily over the
past few weeks.
Illinois Farm Bureau's Guebert expressed thanks for efforts to
assist Illinois agriculture, which relies on keeping the channel
operational. Illinois Farm Bureau also teamed up with Illinois Corn
Growers Association and the Waterway Council to obtain aerial
footage (see above) of the Mississippi River, offering a new
perspective on the critically lower water levels.
For More Info Contact:
Policy #34. RIVERS, LEVEES AND FLOODPLAINS
We will aggressively pursue actions in Congress and
appropriate federal and state agencies to ensure that we have an
efficient and competitive transportation system through which we
can effectively move agricultural and commercial
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