MONROE, La. (AP) — Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says Louisiana won't be able to fully capitalize on the world's growing demand for American commodities unless a port can accommodate the new mammoth vessels transporting goods globally.
He tells The News-Star (http://tnsne.ws/14hP1Bo ) that rising global demand for American commodities and Louisiana's geographic position could contribute to a decades-long economic boom for Louisiana.
The Southern United States Trade Association says a record $25 billion worth of agriculture commodities was shipped from Louisiana ports in 2012.
Strain says that could quickly rise by 30 percent if Louisiana had a port that could handle the 1,200-long ships that will be able to get through the Panama Canal once an expansion is complete next year.
He acknowledges that the billion-dollar cost of such a port is daunting.
Information from: The News-Star, http://www.thenewsstar.com