New map contains data on Minnesota corn yield, E85 stations

By Holly Jessen | November 06, 2013

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association recently announced the creation of a new, interactive map that pulls together data that was previously tracked but not pulled together in one easy to digest format. By clicking on each county (or a group of counties), viewers can access information such as corn yield as well as the number of ethanol plants and E85 stations located there, and more. “This is just one way that folks can easily access the information and drill it down locally, if they want to,” Adam Czech, public relations manager for MCGA.

The online tool, which highlights the local impact of corn production in the state’s 87 counties, can be found at the MCGA website.  The information that is currently online is for 2012. As an example, the data set for Martin County, located in southern Minnesota, shows that corn production was 38,414,000 bushels with a crop value more than $268 million. That county contains seven E85 stations, two ethanol plants, 14 grain elevators and 194 MCGA members as of August 2013.

Overall, corn farmers in Minnesota harvested 1.386 billion bushels of corn last year, with a value of more than $9.5 million. The state also has a total of 20 ethanol plants, 350 gas stations that sell ethanol-blended fuel like E85 and 621 grain elevators.

Renville County produced the most corn, with 46.3 million bushels harvested at a value of more than $324 million. Hennepin County led the state with 23 ethanol-blended fuel stations. Next in line was Stearns County, which has 14 stations. Among the 14 Minnesota counties that did not produce corn in 2012, there are 36 E85 stations and 19 grain elevators.

There are two categories of people that will likely be interested in the information, Czech told Ethanol Producer Magazine. The first is corn farmers, who are always asking other farmers in other counties what the corn crop looks like. “This is one way to access that information for the entire state and get accurate data instead of antidotal data,” he said.

Secondly, MCGA hopes that members of the non-farming public will also access the information to help them gain a better understanding of what impact farm economy has on the state’s overall economy, particularly in rural areas. “If the ag economy is doing well, it means farmers are buying equipment from local dealers, using local businesses for construction projects [and] shopping at other local businesses,” he said.