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Shippers say navigation season on Mississippi River not a bad one

Commercial navigators on the Mississippi River said it was not a bad year, all things considered. Kent Pehler is with Brennan Marine in La Crosse, which helps serve the barge industry.

He said there were fewer grain shipments in his area this year, due to spring flooding and a later-than-normal harvest.

Still, farmers exported a record 2.4 billion bushels of corn on the entire Mississippi River. That's 200-million bushels more than the old record.

The commercial navigation season ended this week on the Upper Mississippi River. And besides the weather, shippers also did their best to work around the tough economy and high fuel prices.

Corn and soybeans are the largest exports from La Crosse. Coal, cement and road salt are among the top imports.