There’s a new refinery in Bloomingburg, Ohio. It’s an ethanol plant just outside the village of 900 people. Much of the major ingredient for producing ethanol – corn – will come from area farms. But there’s an ongoing debate about whether the energy used to produce ethanol makes it an efficient gasoline additive.
Driving the back roads of Ohio may take a little longer this time of year. Farm machinery is headed to and from the field as trucks haul the harvest into town. The wind is whipping up dried corn leaves too, another sign that the corn harvest is underway. In Fayette County, southwest of Columbus, farmers might have a good crop year in spite of a shortage of rainfall.
Ohio farmers apparently will follow a national trend this spring. They say they’ll plant about 15% more acres in corn this year — a move spurred mostly by the demand for ethanol. But some Fayette County farmers have been rethinking their spring planting decisions.