As corn gets scarce and expensive, more ethanol plants shutting down

There's no word on when an idled ethanol plant in Little Falls might reopen. But plant closings are becoming more common in an industry squeezed by drought-inflated corn prices. At least seven ethanol plants in the Midwest have closed and many others are operating at reduced capacity.
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There's no word on when an idled ethanol plant in Little Falls might reopen. But plant closings are becoming more common in an industry squeezed by drought-inflated corn prices. At least seven ethanol plants in the Midwest have closed and many others are operating at reduced capacity.

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Fairmont ethanol plant shutting down

Biofuel Energy says it's closing its ethanol plant in Fairmont until the price of corn comes down. The drought that has ravaged the Midwest's corn crop has pushed up corn prices and erased the profit margins of ethanol producers. A plant in Little Falls shut its doors this summer.

High price of corn idles Little Falls ethanol plant

The Central Minnesota Ethanol Co-Op has suspended operations until they can buy corn or sell ethanol at a better price, the St. Cloud Times reports. The Little Falls plant is using the downtime to complete maintenance and other projects, but most of the 30 employees are out of work.

Minn. corn, soybean planting ahead of average

Minnesota farmers continue to make progress on planting corn and soybeans, thanks to warm, dry weather, the Associated Press reports. According to the USDA's weekly crop-weather report for Minnesota, corn planting jumped to 88 percent planted.

Bloomington-based Advanced BioEnergy to sell Nebraska ethanol plant

Advanced BioEnergy, based in Bloomington, Minn., says it plans to sell its largest ethanol plant in southeast Nebraska to Flint Hills Resources, the Pioneer Press reports. The Kansas-based refiner has agreed to pay more than $170 million. Advanced BioEnergy CEO Rich Peterson told the newspaper he believes it is the highest sale price for a U.S. ethanol plant in four years.