Extreme cold temperatures have resulted in larger than normal amounts of ice accumulations on the Mississippi River in the St. Louis area and the Illinois River. The ice accumulations have slowed grain movements by barge, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grain Transportation Report released today.

Illinois River barge loadings and fleeting operations have been impacted by ice accumulations in the slow moving lake areas of the river. Also, ice has been a logistical problem for the movement of barges in the strategically important St. Louis Harbor, the USDA said. Barge traffic has also been hindered by low water conditions that have reduced the cargo capacity of barges. 

However, barge traffic on most of the Ohio River and Lower Mississippi River below Cairo, Ill., has not been adversely impacted by the cold temperatures or low water conditions, the USDA said.