The worst-case scenario for barge traffic on the drought-hit Mississippi River "seems to have been averted" for now, given efforts to clear rocks on a critical shallow stretch of the waterway, the chief executive of Cargill Inc said this week.

Snow forecast for Iowa, the equivalent of about an inch of rain, will also be a help for water levels on the Mississippi, onditions, Cargill's Gregory Page said at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event.

The head of the giant agribusiness company called for all efforts "within the realm of reason" to keep barge traffic moving on the superhighway for U.S. grain exports.