I’m Clinton Griffiths with today’s AgDay Minute.

Happening right now barge traffic is stopped on a portion of the Mississippi River. It follows a significant fracture on a bridge. The bridge is on I-40 that connects Tennessee to Arkansas. The crack was discovered during a routine inspection that happens every two years. It’s a major blow for the high-traffic area not just for trucks but for barges that go under it every day. Almost every barge loaded with soybeans, corn, or other ag commodities along the Upper Mississippi, Ohio, Illinois, or Missouri rivers are destined to Gulf of Mexico export facilities near New Orleans…and must pass under the bridge. It’s not known when barge traffic will be allowed to resume.

Hourly workers at McDonald’s-owned restaurants are about to get a raise. The fast-food giant saying it will raise hourly wages an average of 10-percent. It also expects to hire 10-thousand workers for those restaurants over the next three months.

‘Uncle Ben’s’ rice officially has a new name and new packaging. It’s now going by, ‘Ben’s Original’. Last year, the company announced it was overhauling the name and image because of racial stereotypes. The new packaging keeps the same orange color and blue font, but it gets rid of the image of “Uncle Ben”. Some older products will remain on store shelves until they sell out.

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