Downbound Barge Grain Movements (Tons)

internal.agtransport.usda.gov | Last Updated 2 Jul 2020

The Mississippi River (north of St. Louis, MO) and its tributaries (e.g., the Arkansas River, Illinois River, Ohio River, etc.) make use of a series of locks and dams to bring traffic up and down the waterways. Grain generally flows south from the relatively production-rich areas of the Midwest to export ports in Louisiana and feed markets in the southeast. This dataset provides weekly information on the amount (in tons), location, and commodity of barged grain transiting the following three major points: (1) the last lock on the Mississippi, Mississippi Locks 27 (called "Miss Locks 27" in the dataset), which captures downbound traffic from the Upper Mississippi and Missouri Rivers; (2) the last lock on the Ohio River, Olmsted Locks and Dam (called "Ohio Olmstead" in the dataset), which captures any downbound traffic on the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers; and (3) the last lock on the Arkansas River, Arkansas River Lock and Dam 1 (called "Ark Lock 1" in the dataset). Ohio Olmsted locks replaced Ohio Locks 52 beginning in November 2018. Commodities include "corn," "soybeans," "wheat," and "other" (oats, barley, sorghum, and rye). Combined, these three locks give a sense of barge grain traffic (by commodity) on the Mississippi--since grain shipments heading south from the Upper Mississippi River, Illinois River, Ohio River, and Arkansas River are captured. Note, however, that this data does not include all grain barge movements on the Mississippi Rover System, as some grain originates on the Mississippi below the locking portion (south of St. Louis, MO). Grain traffic originating below Lock 27 on the Mississippi is about 10 to 30 percent of total downbound grain shipments, which varies year to year. A similar dataset, "Upbound and Downbound Loaded and Empty Barge Movements (Count)," contains information on the count of grain barges moving down the locking system (https://agtransport.usda.gov/d/w6ip-grsn) versus this dataset that shows tonnages. Data is collected weekly from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Lock Performance Monitoring System.

Tags: volumes, traffic, movements, barge

This dataset has the following 7 columns:

Column NameAPI Column NameData TypeDescriptionSample Values
Datedatecalendar_dateWeek ending date, ranging from 2003 to the present.
WeekweeknumberWeek number calculated from the reported week ending date (Date field). Week 1 is the first week of the year with a week ending date falling on or after January 4. In other words, it is the first reported week of data which includes four days in the new year. Values range from 1 to 52 or 53, depending on the year.
MonthmonthnumberMonth number calculated from the reported week ending date (Date field). Week ending dates falling before the fourth day of the month are assigned to the previous month. For example, a week ending date falling on February 1st, 2nd, or 3rd would correspond to “1” (January), since there are less than four days in the reported week that fall in February. Values range from 1 through 12, where 1 refers to January, 2 to February, etc.
YearyearnumberYear number calculated from the reported week ending date (Date field). Week ending dates falling on or after January 4 correspond to the calendar year of the reported week. Week ending dates falling on or before January 3 correspond to the previous calendar year. For example, a week ending date falling on January 2, 2018 would be “2017.” Values range from 2003 to the present.
CommoditycommoditytextGrain type: "Corn," "Soybeans," "Wheat," or "Other." (Other includes oats, barley, sorghum, and rye.)
LocklocktextLocation of three selected locks: Mississippi Locks 27 ("Miss Locks 27"); Ohio Olmsted Locks and Dam ("Ohio Olmsted"); and Arkansas River Lock 1 ("Ark Lock 1").
TonstonsnumberValue, indicating the amount of movement (measured in short tons).