Just one Nebraska ethanol plant in 1985 has grown to 24 ethanol plants today. Spread throughout much of the state, these plants have a capacity of more than 2.0 billion gallons – making Nebraska the second-largest ethanol producing state in the country.
Combined, these plants use more than 700 million bushels of corn per year – and produce more than 6 million tons of distillers grains, a high protein feed ingredient comprised of the parts of the corn kernel not used for ethanol production.
There is little doubt that the growth of the ethanol industry has significantly changed rural Nebraska – providing good paying jobs, a good market for locally-grown corn and a beneficial feed ingredient that is of value for the livestock industry.
In fact, a typical 100 million gallon ethanol plant adds on average 50 jobs in the community where it is located, purchases about 37 million bushels of corn from local farmers and produces about 320,000 tons of distillers grains (dried equivalent). It also generates nearly $4.5 million in tax revenue.
On a national level, fuel ethanol production capacity has passed 13.0 billion gallons at more than 200 facilities. Renewable fuel legislation (the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007), high oil prices and consumers have pushed the growth rapidly – from 1.1 billion gallons in 1996. For the latest national figures, visit the Renewable Fuels Association.
To view a map and see where Nebraska’s ethanol plants are located, click here (.pdf).