Farmers in Union County will soon have a closer place to get crops to market.
A new river terminal and grain elevator was announced this week.
Some farmers have to drive far to get their grains on to barges sent down on the Ohio River. But next year, officials hope that a new grain elevator and river terminal will help the farming economy and the county’s economy.
“I think it’s somewhat needed,” says Taylor Kanipe, who runs Union County Grain Company, the company planning for the new terminal. He says farmers in Union and neighboring counties need a closer place to get crops out to market.
“There’s no graineries from us all the way down to Kentucky Lake,” he says. “So, you have Crittenden, Webster, southern Union County farmers that have to travel farther to get their grain to market.”
The project is expected to cost $7 million to $12 million dollars and be built near the town of Dekoven. It will be used by area farmers belonging to a recently formed co-op. It will also be able to store more than a million bushels of grains.
“We had farmers as far as Illinois to the southern tip of Crittenden County looking to support this,” Kanipe says.
Melissa Coker of Union County First says it could also be the start of economic development along the Ohio River, which she believes is underutilized.
“Basically, we don’t have a river port, so that’s one reason it’s underutilized, just for accessibility purposes. With us not having a river port, it’s harder for us getting stuff in and out. With the Kanipes opening Union County Grain Company, that is the first part in utilizing that river more,” Coker says.
Kanipe says the new grain elevator and river terminal could be ready as soon as August of next year.