Illinois Waterway Closure Scheduled for Next Year

By Austin Ramsey

Plan for the closure, projected to last from July 1-September 30, 2020

It is anticipated that major maintenance and repairs will be performed at many lock and dams on the Illinois Waterway during 2020, impacting the way ADM and the grain industry does business on the river. The LaGrange lock closure will halt barge traffic to ADM Beardstown, IL and locations north that will limit our ability to move grain via the Illinois River system.

Current projections from the Army Corps of Engineers indicate the Illinois River will be closed from July 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020. If the Illinois River is historically the market for your grain, it is imperative that you start to plan for the pending river closure. Basis levels on the river will likely start to weaken in late May or early June as everyone from producers, grain elevators and river elevators empty their grain stocks for a prolonged shut down.

As the harvest of 2020 progresses, space may get tight or even full at river elevators. This will require trucks to move grain to markets further away than historical destinations. Be cognizant of what truck freight costs are and know that they may increase during the harvest of 2020. Do what you can to secure freight to keep the combines rolling.

Above all else, reach out to your local ADM representative and put a plan in place to navigate the impending river closure.