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PILOT GUEST EDITORIAL - Highway 20 is critical to ethanol

Monday, November 26, 2001

Quad County Corn Processors Cooperative is an 18 million gallon per year ethanol plant currently under construction two miles south of Galva at the intersection of Highway 20 and County Road M25.

The plant is truly a grassroots project that has been funded by area producers who are interested in adding value to their farming operation. Grain farmers are attracted by the 6.8 million bushels of corn that will be used as feedstock to produce the ethanol. Livestock producers benefit from the approximately 130,000 tons of quality feed that will be produced as a co-product in the ethanol manufacturing process. Our 400 plus members are generally located within the counties of Buena Vista, Ida, Sac and Cherokee.

The area economy is impacted as well. While the Quad County Board of Directors is focused on the construction and successful operation of the companies. Quad's operation will create 22 new jobs. It is anticipated that there will be 30 to 40 trucks arriving at the plant each day, not including the traffic generated to deliver the corn at harvest. With this volume of activity and the available building space, several new ventures have expressed interest in locating next to the plant.

One of the main components in this whole story is Highway 20. It is the critical access to markets that drove the decision to locate Quad County Corn Processors where it is. In order for any entity to thrive it must be fed. The source of nourishment needs to be plentiful and the delivery system dependable. The delivery system is Highway 20. If the highway is adequate for our current needs, will it be when the next business is built (CO2 Plant, spring of 2002)? Or the next? I am encouraged by the dialog with the Iowa DOT. They have been very interested in our progress and know what our concerns are. While I know they will do what they can, it is important that people remain active in organizations such as yours to keep the progress moving forward. As I drive to the plant I wonder, how many trucks will fit in the existing turn lanes?

Quad County Corn Processors received corn this fall and begin processing ethanol the first part of January 2002.

Editor's note: The U.S. 20 Corridor Association, which includes representatives from Storm Lake urging completion of the long-sought four lane corridor through west Iowa, remains at work promoting the project. For more information, contact U.S. 20 Corridor Association, P.O. Box 411, Early, 50535. The Pilot-Tribune adds its thanks to those of the writer for the effort of this group's volunteers.