KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, U.S. — West Plains LLC announced on May 9 that it has reached an agreement with Brownsville Navigation District to lease the grain-handling facility located within the Port of Brownsville, Texas, U.S. The city is located on the southernmost edge of the estate and shares the U.S.-Mexico border with Matamoros, Tamaulipas in northern Mexico. 

West Plains LLC is an agricultural commodity trading business specializing in warehouse operation and risk management and transportation. The company owns and operates 25 elevators, with approximately 33 million bushels of storage capacity, across five states. 

The Brownsville elevator will join 24 other West Plains LLC grain facilities strategically located across the U.S., and will increase total grain-handling capacity to 33 million bushels. 

“We look forward to giving local producers access to new markets, as well as opening up the southern Texas and Mexican grain markets for those located in other markets,” said Paul Johnson, director of operations for West Plains. “We are thankful to the port and city of Brownsville for the welcome and strong support.” 

The newly leased facility is designed for efficient and high-speed handling of all modes of transportation — truck, rail and vessel loading and unloading. Road access will be off of Interstate 69, with access into Mexico via the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge, Gateway International Bridge and Veterans International Bridge. The facility will have nearly 3 million bushels of storage and is designed to load and unload 110-car shuttle trains, quickly unload inbound farmer trucks and load trucks, rail and oceangoing vessels to various destination markets. It will employ eight people year-round.

“The addition of the Brownsville facility to our portfolio will help us reach into international markets via rail and ship, so we are excited about the new growth opportunities for the company,” said Mike Rowan, the acting president of West Plains LLC. “This is right up the alley of our strategic plans.” 

Renovations will begin this month, and the company plans to have the facility open for business by the 2016 fall harvest. West Plains merchandising managers will increase their presence in the area over the next few weeks.