ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A new report says Minnesota's ethanol industry generated more than $2.5 billion in economic activity in 2009 and supported more than 6,800 jobs.
The annual report from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture says ethanol production in the state increased to 862 million gallons in 2009 from 550 million gallons five years ago.
It estimates production will increase to 1.1 billion gallons this year with an economic impact of $3.1 billion and around 1,500 additional jobs.
Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson says the rebound from a tough year in 2009 is good news for the state's 21 ethanol plants, half of which are farmer owned co-ops.
In 2009, Minnesota processed about 29 percent of its corn crop into ethanol. That's projected to rise to one-third this year.