Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
Supply · Service · Stewardship

Farmers Are Planning For Illinois River Shutdown Next Year

It’s not uncommon for many Illinois farmers to ship much, or even all, of their commodities along the Illinois River.  So a plan to close the river in 2020 for lock and dam repairs could have a huge impact.
“They’re going to need to re-route, predetermine and plan to not be able to use the river for up to 4 months,” said Kirby Wagner, Assistant Director of Transportation and Infrastructure for the Illinois Farm Bureau.  The organization has been reaching out to farmers in advance with a series of meetings.
“It’s going to be a bigger problem if plans aren’t made before 2020 gets here,” he said.
The Illinois Army Corps of Engineers has released a schedule that has closures of six locks next year.  The biggest project is expected to be at the LaGrange Lock and Dam south of Beardstown, which is expected to close for 3 months.
Wagner credits the Corps for working with industry leaders to determine the best time for the work.
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