Icy waters causing problems for local farmers

By WEEK Producer

February 7, 2014 Updated Feb 8, 2014 at 12:16 AM CDT

MERIDOSIA, Ill. -- There continues to be problems with the frozen Illinois River for local farmers.

While the ice is causing problems with the Peoria Lock and Dam, farther south the problem is a combination of ice and low water levels.

That situation is making it difficult for loaded barges to move down the river.

That's stopping a lot of grain from getting to market.

"We grow some specialty crops and they were supposed to be shipped sometime in the first fifteen days of February," said Illinois Farm Bureau Dale Hadden. "That was the target date on the contract. I was told today that that will be pushed off to the last half of February because they can't depend on when the barges are going to get up river."

Low river levels caused by the drought means barges can't be fully loaded.

That in turn makes it more expensive to ship by barge.