The Economic Perspective: “More Access for Farmers?”

Mary: This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic
perspective. Today’s program looks at more access for farmers. Mike, when the total
impact of farming, the processing of farm products, and the delivery and sale of farm
products is tallied in North Carolina, it is a $90 billion a year industry. I understand that
some news in Wilmington may make this amount bigger. Fill us in.
Mike: Summary Answer
a. An announcement was recently made of a large expansion of the capacity of the
Port of Wilmington to hold farm products – mainly soybeans – until they are
shipped
b. This will give greater access for NC farmers to international markets
c. Not a surprise given the widening of the Panama Canal which will allow for
larger cargo ships to pass through
d. NC soybeans are highly valued in Asian markets
e. This is a big step toward improving the economic viability of NC farming,
particularly in eastern NC
f. I’m MW
Mary: And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension
program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.