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Ethanol industry pumps estimated $5 billion into state's economy

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Minnesota's ethanol industry generated more than $5 billion in total economic activity in 2011 and supported more than 12,600 jobs, according to a new report from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).

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The state's 21 ethanol plants have the capacity to produce 1.1 billion gallons of ethanol, putting Minnesota fifth nationwide in ethanol production.

According to the MDA report, ethanol added $912 million to the value of the state's corn crop in 2011, a second record high. For every bushel or corn processed into ethanol, $2.07 was generated in additional revenue.

The report also shows that for every dollar invested into the ethanol plants, more than $8 were generated for the Minnesota economy.

Last year, Minnesota farmers harvested more than 1.2 billion bushels of corn and 440 million bushels were put into production of ethanol and its co-product, distillers dried grains (DDG).

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