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Published March 25, 2013, 10:09 AM

ND's corn processing power

State's ethanol output poised to grow.

By: Mikkel Pates, Agweek

North Dakota has four operating ethanol plants with a rated capacity of about 400 million gallons per year, and that’s set to grow, according to the North Dakota Ethanol Council. The council was founded in 2009, and is funded by a check-off of three-one-hundredths of a cent assessment on ethanol produced and sold in North Dakota. The money is used primarily for promotion, educational programs and market development.

Ethanol producers are a major user of corn in the state. Hankinson Renewable Energy uses about 50 million bushels; the Blue Flint plant in Underwood, N.D., and the Red Trail Energy plant in Richardton, N.D., each use about 20 million to 22 million bushels. A Dakota Spirit AgEnergy LLC ethanol plant has been approved in Spiritwood, N.D., which would take 23 million bushels. The Cargill-leased (ProGold LLC) corn fructose plant in Wahpeton, N.D., takes about 30 million bushels per year.

North Dakota corn production increased from 216.3 million bushels in 2011 to 422.1 million bushels in 2012, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. So that means processing plants in the state handle about the same number of bushels that the entire state grows.