12/24/2013 11:46:00 AM Future looks bright for ethanol here
A recent article written by an Associated Press employee and distributed to many widely published newspapers in the U. S., including our local paper, needs some clarification. The report states that more farmers are growing corn for ethanol and are thus plowing up conservation land and virgin prairies while nitrogen runoff from fertilize is polluting streams. This report understandably has drawn strong reactions from the ethanol industry. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack told the Des Moines Register that "there are a number of inaccuracies and errors in that article." There is no question that there has been increased corn production, but much of that production growth has come from increased yields and switching crop acres away from less profitable crops, without any environmental impact.
Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association said that he is disappointed in the report. He stated that "we spent a fair amount of time with this reporter trying to provide her with the facts and quite frankly, she didn't want to be persuaded by facts. In fact, she ignored facts".
In a recent meeting with Eric Mosbey, manager of Lincolnland Agri-Energy, LLC, he provided a number of facts about his facility and its importance to the local economy. He stated that there has been steady growth of Lincolnland since its inception nearly 10 years ago. Presently the employment in the Palestine facility is at its highest level ever with 41 employees and an estimated annual payroll of between $2.5 million and $3 million. Their corn usage presently is 18,000,000 bushels per year, providing an exceptional base for our local farmers. Corn storage at the local facility is presently 2.6 million bushels. Property taxes amount to several hundred thousand dollars a year at the present time. 430 local investors have realized a good return every year on their investment since the inception of the company.
The future looks bright with more optimization in the plant facility to enhance efficiency. Since inception, the efficiency of the fuel product has gone to two and one-half times the input cost. Longer term, he is looking for new technology to enhance the business. A good example is the recent addition of corn oil production at the facility, providing increased profits and usage of the base product. Distiller's grains (DGs) has become a much more acceptable feed source for local, national, and international livestock feeders and has become their feed of choice.
The Palestine Development Association is proud to endorse Lincolnland Agri-Energy, LLC as a good neighbor and contributor to our economic base and supporter of our educational system.