INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s ethanol industry continues to
positively impact the Hoosier economy, according to a recent study by ABF
Results from the study, funded by the Indiana Corn Marketing
Council, were released during this year’s Indiana Ethanol Forum at Andretti
Autosport in Indianapolis.
The report, “Contribution of Ethanol to the Economy of
Indiana,” updates previous studies about the economic impact to the Hoosier
Ken Parrent, Indiana corn council ethanol director, said the
study results are a way to educate consumers and showcase what ethanol has done
“It’s important for state leaders to understand what ethanol
has brought to the state of Indiana,” Parrent said.
The industry has been a big driver in the Indiana economy.
In 2013, the industry supported 4,103 full-time jobs and generated $232 million
of labor income.
Indiana also is ranked as the nation’s sixth-largest
producer of ethanol. At an annual operating capacity of 1.1 billion gallons,
Indiana’s 12 ethanol plants produce about 7 percent of the nation’s ethanol.
For Parrent, it’s also important to understand that prior to
2007 corn producers were struggling. Prior years required subsidies and payments
and were barely profitable.
After ethanol came along, there were no subsidies, and now
farmers are making money, Parrent said.
He noted that the real growth in the ethanol industry
occurred from 2007 to 2013, a time when the rest of the economy was struggling.
Ethanol grew by 1,000 percent during that time, Parrent said.
In 2007, one ethanol plant produced less than 100 million
gallons of ethanol, and by 2013, 12 ethanol plants produced 1 billion gallons of
ethanol, according the study found.
In 2014, two idled plants are scheduled to resume
operations, which could increase production by as much as 20 percent. Indiana’s
ethanol production has increased more than 13-fold since 2000.
“Agriculture has always run counter to the general economy,”
Parrent said. “A lot of that is due to ethanol. You wonder where we would be if
the demand was absent.”
In a press release, Dennis Maple, council president, said
Indiana’s corn farmers are committed to growing Indiana’s ethanol industry,
which increases demand for the product and boosts the economy.
“Our state’s ethanol industry is good for farmers, good for
consumers, good for the environment and good for Indiana,” Maple said.
Other benefits of ethanol include providing consumer choice
at the gas pump, reducing dependence on foreign oil and not requiring American
troops in the Middle East to defend the supply, Parrent said.
“The industry is working really hard to educate consumers on
value they receive in terms of saving at the gas pump and in terms of
environmental impact of burning a clean fuel,” he said.