Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version

May 2007


Published by University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.


This analysis estimates the economic impact of a 110 million gallon dry-mill ethanol plant in Hall County. The facility is operated by BioFuel Energy LLC and is currently under construction in Wood River. This analysis looks at both the construction and operation impacts of this facility.

Hall County, including Wood River, is part of the Grand Island Micropolitan Statistical Area. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has over 55,000 residents, and has grown by nearly four percent in the last decade. Over 80 percent of the adult population has a high school education, and nearly 16 percent have a college education. Median household income in Hall County stood at $40,000, which is right at the state average; and 12 percent of residents lived below the poverty line. In terms of employment, Hall County contains 4,700 firms which employed over 27,500 workers; and employment has only dropped by one percent in the last five years.

This research report has four main sections. The first section examines the profitability of the ethanol plant, looking at its cost and revenue structures. The second section estimates the economic impact from the construction of the ethanol plant. The third section estimates the operations impact of the ethanol plant. Lastly, the fourth section presents a government fiscal analysis of the construction and operation of the plant. A detailed discussion of the methodology and assumptions used in this analysis are presented in the Appendix.