LACASSINE, LA (KPLC) - The state of Louisiana entered into an agreement Wednesday with the South Louisiana Rail Facility and Jeff Davis Parish to lease 2.4 acres of developed land at the Lacassine Industrial Park.
The land will be used to construct the South Louisiana Rail Facility. The facility will consist of four 40,000 bushel grain tanks.
The new facility will provide rice farmers in Acadia, Jeff Davis, St. Landry, Vermillion, Allen, Calcasieu, and Cameron Parishes with a faster way to export rice to other countries.
"We don't have access to any type of rail facility with high enough loading capacities to make us truly competitive in the shipping," said Chris Krielow, Chairman for the South Louisiana Rail Facility.
Krielow added that most rough rice in the United States is exported by barge or ship to other countries.
The facility will take advantage of high-speed rail loading technology and allow farmers to have access to new markets.
"By having high speed loading we feel we'll be much more competitive in being able to ship rice and other grains of Louisiana to Mexico," said Krielow.
The rail facility is a $3 million dollar project funded by the state and individual farmers from southwest Louisiana. Rice farmers contributed $780,000 for the project. Jeff Davis Parish obtained $1.8 million in capital outlay funds from the state. Jeff Davis Parish is also applying for a $200,000 Community Development Block Grant and an additional $200,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture.
Construction on the new facility is expected to begin in early fall of 2011.