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Can Technology Keep Mississippi’s Grain Shipments Afloat?

calendar icon 13.10.2023

The Mississippi River, a vital conduit for U.S. grain exports, is facing severe water level reductions for the second consecutive year due to ongoing drought conditions. This issue is disrupting the grain harvests and shipping activities, leaving many farmers in a lurch. Technology to the rescue?

According to Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, the situation is reaching alarming levels. While shifting to other modes of transportation is an option for some farmers, many in the South are confined to using the river.

The Problem at Hand

As of October 3, 2023, river levels near Memphis were about two feet lower than this time last year. Conditions have deteriorated to the point where barges are getting stranded and freight prices have soared. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, spot rates at St. Louis were up 6% from last year and a staggering 115% from the previous three-year average.

Enter Centaur’s Internet-of-Crops®

Centaur has developed a state-of-the-art solution that could be a game-changer in such challenging circumstances. Our Internet-of-Crops® system is capable of real-time monitoring and predictive analytics. These features empower agribusinesses to make data-driven decisions that can significantly reduce post-harvest losses, optimize resource utilization, and improve their resilience against supply chain disruptions.

CFD-powered Predictive Analysis

Our technology stack employs Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in addition to AI algorithms. This combination enables Centaur’s platform to provide an unprecedented level of predictive and prescriptive analytics, helping you anticipate and mitigate factors that could lead to spoilage and waste. This brings about multiple points of impact:

  1. Quality Assurance: By being able to monitor the condition of the grains in real-time, farmers can make informed decisions on when and where to move their produce. Even river barges can serve as temporary storage, and this technology can help monitor and assess its integrity, in real-time.
  2. Resource Optimization: With predictive analytics, farmers could better schedule their shipments, reducing the risk of spoilage due to unexpected shipping delays.
  3. Cost Efficiency: By reducing waste and optimizing transport, Centaur helps you cut costs and maintain a more reliable, efficient supply chain.

Simulation of cargo condition along a river barge route

River Barge Predictive Modeling on the Internet-of-Crops® platform


The Future Awaits

While there may be a long road ahead to completely solving the problems of the Mississippi River’s shrinking water levels, technologies like Centaur’s Internet-of-Crops® could be key players in mitigating the impact and providing agribusinesses with valuable alternatives.

Let’s Partner for Resilience

Centaur’s technology is not just a stopgap solution but a long-term strategy for more robust, resilient agribusinesses. By embracing innovations like ours, we can collectively ease the strain on our critical supply chains.

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