Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version

November 2007


Published in Cornhusker Economics, 11/14/2007. Produced by the Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


Nebraska, along with several other Midwestern states, is in the middle of an ethanol boom. In the past few years a combination of high oil prices, cheap corn and favorable government policy have driven expansion of the industry. In turn, this has generated an unprecedented amount of industrial investment in many rural communities. However, local governments and economic developers have little information regarding the long-term economic viability of these plants. This information gap limits the ability of local governments to make informed public policy decisions about ethanol plants in their community, especially in terms of local tax incentives and abatements.