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Sat Feb 2, 2013, 07:38 PM

AGP closes corn processing plant in Hastings (NE)

Source: Omaha World Herald

By Emily Nohr

The Ag Processing Inc. corn processing plant in Hastings, Neb., has closed.

The Omaha-based company announced the closure on Friday, effective immediately, citing ongoing economic challenges the ethanol industry is facing.

The company said its human resources department is working with the 43 employees affected but declined to say whether employees would be laid off or transferred to other segments of the business.

“The decision to shut down our corn processing plant in Hastings was very difficult due to the employees affected and the loss of an important market outlet for area farmers,” said Keith Spackler, CEO and general manager of AGP, in a press release. “Our facility, like other corn processing plants in the Midwest, continues to experience negative margins due to higher corn prices driven by ongoing drought conditions, and lower ethanol prices.”

FULL story at link.

Read more: http://www.omaha.com/article/20130202/MONEY/702029937/1697#agp-closes-corn-processing-plant-in-hastings



Marta and I have been buying E-10 since 1977. Only 2 stations in Omaha offered it then. We still support E fuel, even though there are many that are against it for several different reasons. Environmentalists are still split on this issue.

43 jobs lost.

31 replies, 4830 views

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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply AGP closes corn processing plant in Hastings (NE) (Original post)
Omaha Steve Feb 2013 OP
Archae Feb 2013 #1
Katashi_itto Feb 2013 #2
ForgoTheConsequence Feb 2013 #3
Katashi_itto Feb 2013 #4
jerseyjack Feb 2013 #5
sendero Feb 2013 #6
Sunlei Feb 2013 #8
sendero Feb 2013 #9
Sunlei Feb 2013 #10
sendero Feb 2013 #11
Sunlei Feb 2013 #12
Kolesar Feb 2013 #16
RKP5637 Feb 2013 #27
BlueStreak Feb 2013 #26
xtraxritical Feb 2013 #15
Sunlei Feb 2013 #7
NickB79 Feb 2013 #19
Sunlei Feb 2013 #22
NickB79 Feb 2013 #28
Sunlei Feb 2013 #30
ROBROX Feb 2013 #13
BlueSpot Feb 2013 #14
cosmicone Feb 2013 #17
Omaha Steve Feb 2013 #18
NickB79 Feb 2013 #21
Sunlei Feb 2013 #23
cosmicone Feb 2013 #24
farmbo Feb 2013 #25
cosmicone Feb 2013 #29
FarCenter Feb 2013 #20
Name removed May 2014 #31

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 07:49 PM

1. At least it isn't like the Golden Guernsey plant here in WI.

They just walked in, announced the plant was closing, and had everyone escorted out.
No warning whatsoever and the workers are screwed.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 08:01 PM

2. Cool..I hated Hastings shitty town. Awful people.

I was a stranger there. Worked at the hospital, and the townsfolk went out of their way to make you feel unwelcome. One of the worse small town experiences I had. Alamogordo NM, takes the top tier.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 08:22 PM

3. Really?

What an asshole thing to say. Wishing this upon anyone isn't very progressive. There are almost certainly kids and people who weren't mean to you that are going to be hurt by this.

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Response to ForgoTheConsequence (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 08:29 PM

4. Meh... whatever you say...Hastings was like the set of "Children of The Corn"

If you want to call me an asshole for my observation of a town where I lived, well, more like did penance, go right ahead. Such a cloistered den of right wing fanatics there as it was.


As for progressive, well I am not the PC, hand wringing type.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 08:35 PM

5. ---sorry about the jobs but

 

the less corn directed towards ethanol, the better.

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Response to jerseyjack (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 09:24 PM

6. Exactly..

... another unbelievable scam, ethanol. Gives you half the fuel value of gasoline for the same price.

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Response to sendero (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 09:30 PM

8. the last time I tried to grow gasoline, it didn't go very well :(

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #8)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 09:42 PM

9. And you will do even worse..

... when you have to do without petroleum based fertilizers. A lot worse.

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Response to sendero (Reply #9)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 10:01 PM

10. actually I planted my last corn crop on land that only had wood chips from my henhouse spread on it.

And composted manure from my horse. Never had any chemical fertilizers or any bought products. The corn was done in 6 weeks, grew like crazy every seed sprouted seemed like overnight.

Had enough to feed all the hens over the winter. plenty of chicken,eggs and corn for friends/family. What a 'renewable miracle cycle' nature hands us free. Other than the costs of seed and hatchery chicks and time. It's almost all profit.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #10)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 10:09 PM

11. Wow...

... way to miss the point. Your small garden is not the issue. you'd be lucky to produce a few gallons of ethanol from your production. The huge corporate farms that grow corn for ethanol use huge amounts of petroleum-produced chemical fertilizers, some say so much that the energy value of the enthanol produced barely covers the energy value required to produce it. I don't know if that is true I have not done the research but I AM pretty sure that ethanol is a scam.

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Response to sendero (Reply #11)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 10:17 PM

12. The way the corporate farms ruin the land,air and water to farm their product is the scam.

The actual product ethanol probably can be made from most any type of grain/seed that has oil in it. perhaps hemp seed,palm seed,peanuts or soy beans would have more oil for ethanol? and leave more corn for animal feeds and moonshine

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Response to sendero (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 06:18 AM

16. Some ethanol distilleries are coal fired--they put more carbon in the atmosphere than petro fuel

Battery powered cars are the clean future.

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Response to Kolesar (Reply #16)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 04:26 PM

27. Yep, battery really is the way to go IMO. n/t

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Response to sendero (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:14 PM

26. Ethanol CONSUMES more energy than it produces

Once you factor in the fertilizer, the plowing, the harvesting, the trucking, and the processing in the plant. But the corn lobby makes out great.

The only thing good about ethanol is that maybe we are producing less corn syrup as a result. But we are still producing enough to make a nation of fatasses and diabetics.

End all subsidies to the corn industry now. These are worse than subsidies to tobacco farmers because: a) they are so much larger, and b) they mostly go to the huge farming corporations, not to family farmers.

http://healthnews.ediets.com/health-topics/obesity-more-dangerous-than-smoking.html

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Response to jerseyjack (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:46 AM

15. I agree corn for ethynol was always a scam for agribusiness.

 

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 09:28 PM

7. a 43 employee mill? why doen't the town just buy the mill from AG?

America used to harvest 30 bushels of corn an acre..now we harvest 300!! bushels of corn an acre. Someone rips a huge profit margin out of that.

Come on Nebraska people, are you ranchers and farmers or are you surfs working the big aggie corporation farms?

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:24 AM

19. Average yield is 130 bushels per acre, not 300

300 bushels per acre is the theoretical maximum when everything is done exactly right and unlimited amounts of water and fertilizer are used. My dad would have a heart attack from excitement if he ever grew 300 bushels of corn per acre on his farm.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #19)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:37 PM

22. think about even a lawn full of corn & feed the whole family for the year, grows so easy.

all the new seeds modified, yeilds are way up even in drout areas. The higher price demanded is more profits. I planted only a half acre, did it pure organic, very little water during the worse drout in texas. Must have been at least 100 bushels, my hens (50 hens!) ate corn, my horses had some, we humans ate corn and I still have some in the deep freeze.

300-bushel corn could be realized, plant scientist says - AgriNewswww.agrinews-pubs.com/.../300bushelcorncouldberealizedplantscien...Cached
You +1'd this publicly. Undo
Dec 27, 2012 – He saw 300-bushel corn yields in 1985 and has since glimpsed corn yield in the 290-bushel-an-acre realm, so he is confident the high return ...


"corn yield 300 bushels an acre"

http://www.google.com/search?q=corn+yield+300+bushels+an+acre&rls=com.microsoft:en-us&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1&rlz=

my point is the talk of shortages and rising prices is price setting by big ag. for increased profits.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #22)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 09:01 PM

28. Like I said, 300 bushels per acre is if you do EVERYTHING just right

http://www.agronext.iastate.edu/corn/production/management/harvest/producing.html

Yields of 300 bu/acre are possible with today's genetics, excellent management, and stress-free environments. The difficulty is in producing yields of this caliber on a large scale. Unfortunately, most producers do not have the right combination of these three factors to produce 300 bushels per acre.

Iowa's average corn yield was 166 bu/acre in 2006, which is just slightly above the 30-year trend line. Our highest average yield was 181 bu/acre in 2004. Iowa is increasing yield at approximately 2 bushels per acre per year; more than 60 years will be necessary to have a state average of 300 bu/acre.


With climate change kicking the hell out of the US Midwest and Great Plains farming regions, I seriously doubt we'll see all the stars line up for an average much higher than we have today. Like I said before, you'd need the perfect mixture of water (already in short supply and only going to get worse), fertile topsoil (harder and harder to find), and massive fossil fuel inputs (getting more expensive).

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #28)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:05 AM

30. more small farmers should sell direct to consumer to up their farm profits

Not many real farms left, big ag owns and manages so much of the croplands and lots of open land close to cities is banned for use for crops.

I don't know what the answer could be. I don't think our gov should subsidise any farms not directly managed by the family.

Have you thought about internet sales of ear corn direct to the consumer? a website, a paypal button is all it would take. I bet you could sell fresh ear corn for about 1/1.50 each ear (by the box full) and make a huge profit over what a wholesaler pays a farmer. corn could probably ship regular postal without all the package needs of other types of produce.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 11:03 PM

13. STOCKTON CALIFORNIA ETHANOL PLANT IS OPERATING AGAIN

 

This place opened a few years ago and then closed. It is operating and looking for more product to convert. In California it is not abnormal to have 3 crops per year except for orchards. The ethanol plant would like farms to switch from corn to SAW GRASS. Not so great with producing ethanol, but better for the land.

Ethanol does not provide top horse power, and it could damage some of the gaskets in older cars. In California the refineries blend different products depending on the season to reduce SMOG and other pollutions. I guess this is why gas is so expensive or the GOP want to make BIGGER profits, though in GOP areas the cost is $0.20 or more cheaper than Democratic areas like S.F. or L.A.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:24 AM

14. Temporary

Ethanol plants close all the time when the economics don't work in their favor. Then the price of oil goes up and/or the price of corn goes down and they reopen. Unless they tore down the plant, which I doubt, this is temporary.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 07:48 AM

17. I simply cannot support converting food to fuel

It is obscene to drive big SUVs when there are people starving.

Ethanol fuels raised the prices of tortillas for millions of poor people in Central and South America. It is a shame really.

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Response to cosmicone (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:36 AM

18. Ethanol industry poised for surge in fuel made from crop waste


After Corn is used for ethanol, it is fed to cattle. Ethanol removes starch, not the protein!

And this below.

http://www.omaha.com/article/20130203/MONEY/702039940/1707#ethanol-industry-poised-for-surge-in-fuel-made-from-crop-waste

DES MOINES — After decades of talk, the ethanol industry is building multimillion-dollar refineries in several states that will use corn plant residue, wood scraps and even garbage to produce the fuel additive.

The breakthrough comes at a key time for the industry, after the drought heightened criticism about the vast amount of corn used to brew up ethanol rather than be transformed into animal feed or other foods. The corn crop already was smaller than expected because of drought last year, and livestock groups were especially critical of how the 40 percent of the crop being diverted toward ethanol caused corn prices to soar.

The new cellulosic ethanol technology could quiet that criticism while also making use of material largely seen as worthless.

Experts said it hasn't been easy.

FULL story at link.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Reply #18)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:30 AM

21. Oh goody, strip-mining the soil to a whole new level

We remove the grain, and feed it to people and livestock.

We remove the stalks and leaves, and feed it to our cars.

We then try to replace the billions of tons of organic matter that is vital to healthy soil, that we strip-mined from the land, with synthetic fertilizers made from oil and natural gas.

Only someone with no understanding whatsoever of how to maintain healthy soils would call crop residue worthless, as this article did.

This will not end well for us.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Reply #18)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:42 PM

23. cool what cattle can digest, peanut hay is also great forage. wonder why they just focus on corn.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Reply #18)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:46 PM

24. Nevertheless

what is left cannot be used to make tortillas for the poor.

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Response to cosmicone (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:02 PM

25. Not true... Ethanol uses only #2 yellow corn. Tortillas use only White corn.

This is a Red Herring put out by the Petroleum Institute.
A modern ethanol plant has a far better carbon footprint than fossil fuels and the US renewable standard MANDATES that half the future ethanol must be made from cellulosic, non- food crops.

I totally agree with you on the SUV point, however.

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Response to farmbo (Reply #25)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 09:22 PM

29. #2 corn is used in animal feeds

As the price of that rises due to shortages, they start using the white corn.

The price of tortillas in Centra America has gone up since the corn-produced ethanol went on line.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:29 AM

20. It's cheaper to make ethanol from natural gas than from corn.

Corn ethanol would not be used in fuel except for legislation that prevents synthesized ethanol from being used as the oxidizer/octane booster.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

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