North Carolina's Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler says that he's been in negotiations with the Governor's Logistics Task Force and the State Ports Authority about needed improvements to the ports in Wilmington and Morehead City.
Preliminary data shows that the value of North Carolina ag exports increased 22% during 2010. Ag Exports help boost farm prices and income as well as supporting more than 24,000 jobs, both on the farm and off the farm in food processing, storage and transportation.
The problem with the North Carolina ports is that they're not reaping the benfits of these exports, with most of the ag exports being shipped out of ports in Virginia and South Carolina.
The Commissioner explains that the Morehead City port is deep enough to handle large vessels, and sits only four miles from deep water. The port also is located near major agricutural production areas of the state. With improvements in Morehead City's capacity and equipment, this port could be a significant player in shippping soybeans and other feedstuffs in bulk or break-bulk.
Wilmington serves the industry in containers, and work is being done to bring refrigerated business to the port.