Local Farmers impacted by Hurricane Katrina

By: Narina Crain
By: Narina Crain

The impact of Hurricane Katrina can be seen along the Mississippi River. Barge traffic is backed up... and it's difficult to get exports shipped out of New Orleans' port.

That's bad news for farmers in the stateline... they send thousands of bushels of corn down south every year. "Barge rates now to get corn to the Gulf Coast are about 200% to 300% higher now."

About 100 barges were lost in the hurricane. And Ken Greene says they most likely won't be replaced. So there will continue to be slow movement of corn and soybean shipments.

Combine that with the drought... and it's not a good year for farmers. "Farmers may not be able to pay their bills." The U-S department of Agriculture reports the second largest corn crop on record. But demand isn't meeting supply... so prices are going down. These ears of corn won't be shipped out any time soon.

Because of low prices farmers are hoping to store their corn until they can at least break even." But it's not guaranteed that prices will ever go up enough for farmers to make a profit off their current crop. "Some farmers won't know what they're going to do to stay in business."One thing's for sure... everyone's praying for a better season next year.


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