For the last four years, Bunge-Ergon has been turning corn into ethanol. Now, the plant is turning away from its ethanol production, all thanks to a record high spike in corn prices.
"It is a concern because you don't want anybody losing their jobs in Mississippi and it does produce that. But it's kind of typical for ethanol plants right now," said Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith.
Hyde-Smith says droughts in the mid-West are the main culprit behind the approximate $7.50 per bushel of corn. That's something Hyde-Smith says wasn't expected. Because of it, Ergon will suspend production of ethanol by the end of November, then reassess marketing conditions and decide whether to start up again next year.
"When it's so expensive you just have to weigh those input costs with what you're going to actually get for your product," said Hyde-Smith.
In an industry often touted for its job creation, with the suspension of production comes layoffs. The Department of Employment Security is working with those impacted through rapid response teams. With the high cost of production, the Mississippi Development Authority is keeping a close watch on what it could mean for the state and its renewable resources.
"Whether this is a trend or not is yet to be determined. This is one company. It's a large deal for the people involved but the energy sector has many facets," said Dan Turner, spokesman with MDA.
Hyde-Smith says a suspension in production doesn't mean the plant will cease to exist. It's just a break until the market loss on corn can adjust.
"One year something is really profitable. Five years from now, it may not be as profitable, just like cotton is not king right now but it was for a long time," said Hyde-Smith. "Those cycles normally come back."
Hyde-Smith says the corn prices aren't just affecting ethanol producers and petroleum products. It's also causing problems in industries like cattle, poultry and catfish, all of which mean jobs and money in Mississippi.
Monday, May 20 2013 8:21 PM EDT2013-05-21 00:21:00 GMT
Jackson Police are investigating a homicide in west Jackson Monday after a body was discovered inside a residence on Arbor Vista Boulevard. According to Officer Colendula Green with JPD, officers haveMore >>
Jackson police have released the identity of the man found dead in a west Jackson house Monday morning.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >>
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 9:37 PM EDT2013-05-21 01:37:07 GMT
A body discovered in Clinton Saturday night has led to a homicide investigation. Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham Stewart confirms a body was discovered, although few other details are known. The bodyMore >>
Clinton Police Department's Interim Chief Mike Warren said upon further investigation, it appears a disagreement over a woman may have led to the death of a Jackson man.
Monday, May 20 2013 7:22 PM EDT2013-05-20 23:22:22 GMT
NOTE: Photos and videos will be added to this story later in the evening. The Walthall County Sheriffs Department along with The Humane Society of the United States are in the process of raiding a puppyMore >>
Among the dogs, many are dead, and skeletal remains are mixed with living animals in small, dark, filthy enclosures.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 12:10 PM EDT2013-05-20 16:10:06 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Arlington High School senior Taylor Flake thought she was making history when her classmates elected her to be the school's first African-American class president. "It's more than just me representingMore >>
Arlington High School senior Taylor Flake thought she was making history when her classmates elected her to be the school's first African-American class president.
So when the school started planning for the commencement, Flake said she was shocked to find out that she was not among those chosen to speak.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 2:26 PM EDT2013-05-20 18:26:49 GMT
Hinds County sheriff's deputies seized five pounds of marijuana and made two arrests as the result of a three-month investigation. Sheriff's office officials say the northeast Jackson investigation isMore >>
Hinds County sheriff's deputies seized five pounds of marijuana and made two arrests as the result of a three-month investigation.More >>
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department. More >>
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 1:43 PM EDT2013-05-20 17:43:49 GMT
The Alabama man charged in the 2010 murder of a Clinton woman is on trial this week in Hinds county. James Hutto is charged with capital murder in the death of 81-year-old Ethel Simpson. ProsecutorsMore >>
The Alabama man charged in the 2010 murder of a Clinton woman is on trial this week in Hinds county. James Hutto is charged with capital murder in the death of 81-year-old Ethel Simpson.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 10:35 PM EDT2013-05-20 02:35:37 GMT
Authorities have recovered the body of a 10-year-old boy who apparently drowned after an all-terrain vehicle overturned in a Mississippi creek. The search for the boy's younger brother continued Sunday. ColumbusMore >>
Authorities have recovered the body of a 6-year-old boy who apparently drowned after an all-terrain vehicle overturned in a Mississippi creek. The search for the boy's older brother continued Sunday.More >>
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