Indiana’s Ethanol Industry

Indiana’s ethanol industry continues to be a driving force to the Hoosier economy according to a recent study by ABF Economics. The results of the study were released June 13 at the Indiana Ethanol Forum in Indianapolis.

“Indiana is one of the nation’s leading ethanol producers and the ethanol industry is a vibrant component of the Indiana manufacturing sector,” said John Urbanchuk, managing partner at ABF Economics. “The most significant impact of the ethanol industry for Indiana is to provide a large, stable base of demand for corn that provides an important source of market-based revenue, increases farmer net worth while supporting jobs in all sectors of the Indiana economy.”

The report, funded by the Indiana Corn Marketing Council, updates previous studies on the economic impact of Indiana’s ethanol industry, which accounted for $538 million in gross state product last year, and provides compelling evidence of Indiana’s importance as an ethanol hub.  

“Not only is ethanol a key market and economic driver for Hoosier corn farmers, but this study clearly illustrates the significant economic contributions Indiana’s growing ethanol industry plays to the state and local communities in terms of job creation, tax revenue and economic investment,” said David Howell, ICMC ethanol chair and farmer from Middletown, Ind. “As Indiana’s ethanol industry continues to grow, it is vital that we continue to assess the impact this key industry is having on our state’s economy.”

The study – Contribution of Ethanol to the Economy of Indiana – shows that in 2013 Indiana’s ethanol industry supported more than 4,100 full time jobs and generated labor income of $232 million. State and local tax coffers also received $42 million from Indiana’s ethanol industry.

“While ethanol production is not a labor-intensive industry, every direct job in ethanol production supports six additional Indiana jobs,” said Urbanchuk. “The ethanol industry also produces valuable co-products in the form of dried distiller’s grain and distiller’s corn oil that directly benefit livestock and poultry producers and the Indiana biodiesel industry.”

Indiana is the nation’s sixth largest producer of ethanol, with the state’s 12 operating ethanol plants boasting an annual operating capacity of more than one billion gallons of ethanol. That’s about 7 percent of the total U.S. capacity. Indiana’s ethanol production has increased more than 13-fold since 2000.“Because ethanol is such a key market for Indiana corn farmers, the Indiana Corn Marketing Council has invested in this industry since Indiana’s new corn checkoff law went into effect seven years ago,” said Ken Parrent, ICMC ethanol director. “We are now able to look at the impact this industry is having across the state and evaluate the return on that investment as far as economic impact and growth for not only Hoosier farmers but for the Indiana economy as well.”

In addition to funding this study, ICMC also has invested in research that has looked at the next generation of ethanol technologies, specifically corn stover.

“Indianas corn farmers are committed to growing our states ethanol industry, which not only increases demand for our product but also grows the Hoosier economy,” said Dennis Maple, ICMC president and farmer from Greentown, Ind. “Our states ethanol industry is good for farmers, good for consumers, good for the environment and good for Indiana.”

ICMC has also offered grants to fuel retailers to encourage new infrastructure to offer mid-level ethanol blends for drivers of Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFVs). To date the corn checkoff has helped fuel retailers add 14 flex fuel pumps across the state that offer blends from E20 to E85.

A complete copy of the study can be found at

Big Dividends for Hoosier Ag Economy