North Carolina agriculture leaders say the state is losing exports to neighbors like Virginia and South Carolina. State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler told the Ports Authority board almost 90 percent of North Carolina's overseas agricultural exports leave from other states. He says it's too expensive to transport goods to the coast and ports don't have the right equipment to handle large loads.
Steve Troxler: "It was a lack of infrastructure and in one case even a lack of available containers to load soybeans in to send them overseas. So all of these are issues that we've got to address in North Carolina if we want to capitalize on the ability to use these ports."
North Carolina farmers produced about $3.5 billion worth of exports last year. Troxler says North Carolina can bring in more revenue from port taxes and add jobs if goods are sent to the state ports in Wilmington and Morehead City.