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The State of Michigan seeks to force the State of Illinois to take immediate steps to prevent the invasion of Asian Carp into Lake Michigan.  One of the steps is to close the O’Brien Lock and the Chicago Lock.  Obviously, this would have massive effects for agriculture.

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce offered an affidavit on this issue that is very informative.  The effects on agriculture listed here are, in short:

  • Grain pricing by the Chicago Board of Trade is reliant on the benchmarks derived from two facilities that depend on grain being shipped through the O’Brien Lock.
  • Farmers in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, and even North Dakota would have to find other means for shipping their grain.
  • The closure could cost the corn industry as much as $567 million per year because without the O’Brien Lock, barges cannot be repositioned to grain elevators between Chicago and Peoria.

For more information on Asian Carp, visit

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