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Transportation is moving along Minnesota's portion of the Mississippi River, but that's not the case downstream

Mike Steenhoek, the executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, says the transportation problems they're having in Louisiana are impacting Minnesota.

MINNEAPOLIS — Fisherman along the Mississippi have more land lately to cast their line. 

"I do better when there's more water," said Leonard Thomas, who has fished a spot in Coon Rapids for years. 

"That's usually covered," he said as he pointed out to an extended river bank. 

Water levels north of the Twin Cities are low, according to hydrologists with the National Weather Service, but the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers says they haven't seen too many transportation issues in the state. 

"Right now we are in as good of shape as we can be," said Dan Fasching, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' St. Paul District water manager for the Upper Mississippi River.

He said the series of locks and damns is why Minnesota's portion of the Mississippi is moving along. 

"As you go down south, past St. Louis, they don't have continued navigation locks," said Fasching. "They rely solely on the other half, which is dredging efforts."

It's not always smooth sailing for Minnesota's farmers. 

Mike Steenhoek, the executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, represents 14 organizations including one in Minnesota.

"A lot of soybeans loaded in Minnesota and in other states throughout the Midwest are loaded into barges, and then they make this lengthy journey down to export terminals in the New Orleans, Louisiana area," said Steenhoek. "So a problem down there results in a problem up here."

He said barges have to carry lighter loads and there has to be less of them on the river. 

Jake Hanley is a senior portfolio strategist for Teucrium Trading ETFs. He monitors track of prices in agricultural goods. 

"Because you need more barges, there's a limited supply that pushes up the barge rates," said Hanley. "So barges become more expensive to get downriver and ultimately that eats into farmer profitability."

And Fasching says there's not much Minnesota can do to help. 

"We don't have any extra water stored, at least until winter comes around and we get some more snow or if we get some extra rain," said Fasching.

He hopes wetter weather will interrupt the flow downstream. 

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