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Ethanol production to consume third of Missouri corn by 2008

Agriculture.com Staff 02/13/2006 @ 8:24am

By 2008, Missouri ethanol production is expected to reach 350 million gallons annually, adding an estimated $726 million to the state's economy, according to data released in a new study conducted by University of Missouri economists.

At that level, about one-third of the state's corn production, around 124 million bushels, would be used to produce ethanol, increasing the corn crop value at the farm level by $73 million, said Vern Pierce, agricultural economist with the MU Commercial Agriculture Program who led the study.

"That's $73 million new dollars in the pockets of Missouri corn farmers," he said during a press conference at the Missouri Capitol. "That level of production also will support more than 5,600 jobs across the state, generate about $63 million in federal, state and local taxes, and produce one million tons of dried distillers grain that could feed an estimated 750,000 head of cattle."

The study, conducted by Pierce and MU agricultural economists Joe Horner and Ryan Milhollin, accounts for all direct, indirect and induced economic effects of constructing and operating the state's ethanol production facilities.

The MU researchers also evaluated the Missouri ethanol industry's current economic impacts. By the end of 2006, ethanol production is expected to reach 156 million gallons, the total economic impact of which is estimated at $390 million, Pierce said.

"We currently use 55 million bushels of corn, or about 15 percent of the Missouri crop, for ethanol production," he said. "However, about 37 percent of our corn crop currently is exported outside the state. That corn goes into one product or another, and the money from selling that product ends up in the pockets of those who transformed it.

"The ethanol industry is providing a means for local producers to keep that corn in Missouri and capture that added value so that it goes into the pockets of those on Main Street rather than on Wall Street," Pierce said.

Complete findings of the study are available on the MU Commercial Agriculture Web site at http://agebb.missouri.edu/commag/.

By 2008, Missouri ethanol production is expected to reach 350 million gallons annually, adding an estimated $726 million to the state's economy, according to data released in a new study conducted by University of Missouri economists.

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