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Praying for rain as the Mississippi breaks
Despite the pump from Appalachian rainforests, the drought-stricken Mississippi River is the lowest it has ever been
This story was originally published by the Tennessee Lookout.
MEMPHIS — John Dodson’s corn, cotton and soybean fields are fewer than 10 miles from the Mississippi River, the key transportation artery for West Tennessee grain farmers. But they might as well be a thousand miles.
Historically low water levels on the river are coming at the worst possible time for him. It’s peak harvest season, but he can’t get his crop to market.
West Tennessee farmers have long relied on proximity to the Mississippi, delivering their crops directly from the field to the river. The ease of access has meant many farmers lack large grain storage silos that farmers in the Midwest and elsewhere rely on.
While drought strangles transportation on the Mississippi, many of these farmers are now being forced to leave crops in the field and pray for rain to fall anywhere and everywhere else but above their harvest-ready crops.