An ethanol plant in southern Minnesota will shut down at the end of the week because it's not making enough money.
Ethanol plants have struggled to make a profit in the last couple of years because of low ethanol prices combined with the high cost of their basic ingredient, corn.
A board member of Minnesota Energy in Buffalo Lake, who declined an interview request, confirmed that the plant will shutdown for an indefinite period. Minnesota Energy officials hope to resume production when the economics of ethanol improve.
Low or negative profit margins are not the plant's only problem. Last year, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency fined Minnesota Energy just over $1 million for air and water quality violations.