MARION, Ohio – A feasibility study on bringing ethanol production into Ohio commissioned by the Ohio Corn Marketing Program has concluded that Ohio should be producing ethanol.
The big questions remaining are where a plant should be located, and who is going to finance its development.
According to Kent Eddy, chairman of the Ohio Corn Marketing Program board, results of the study, received last week, clearly show that Ohio “is one of the most logical places in the United States to build an ethanol plant.
“By using Ohio corn to produce ethanol, we will create a win-win-win situation,” he said. “The state benefits from reduced imports of gasoline, the rural economy benefits from increased use of corn, and we can all breathe cleaner air.”
Site selection. Eddy said the preferred location for building a new ethanol plant has yet to be determined. Site assessments will use a weighted matrix that takes resources, feedstock availability, proximity to markets, and a host of other criteria into account.
Mike Wagner, executive director of the marketing program, has pointed out that many of the new ethanol facilities being built are farmer-owned cooperatives.
“The new farmer-owned cooperative is a great way for farmers to invest in their future, while improving the price for their grain,” he said.
In order to explain the proposal and to begin to interest farmers and potential investors, Wagner has scheduled two meetings in the corn-producing areas of western Ohio.
Meetings planned. Public meetings will be held Dec. 11 at Deschler in Henry County and Dec. 12 at Washington Court House in Fayette County.
“A 20 million gallon per year ethanol facility will improve the balance of trade for Ohio by nearly $18 million annually,” he said.
“Exporting corn and importing ethanol simply makes no sense. The most important thing we can do for Ohio agriculture is to create ways to increase the value of the corn we already have.”