The impact of ethanol plants on cropland values in the great plains

Jason Henderson (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City – Omaha Branch, Omaha, Nebraska, USA)
Brent A. Gloy (Department of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA)

Agricultural Finance Review

ISSN: 0002-1466

Publication date: 8 May 2009



Corn ethanol plants consume large amounts of corn and their location has the potential to alter local crop prices and surrounding agricultural land values. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the local economic impact of ethanol plant locations on farmland values.


The relationship between ethanol plant location and agricultural land prices is examined using data obtained from the Agricultural Credit Survey administered by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.


The findings indicate that ethanol plant location has had an impact on land values. The portion of land price changes attributable to location is consistent with previous estimates of basis changes associated with ethanol plant location.


The paper finds that land markets appear to be rationally adjusting to the location of ethanol plants.



Henderson, J. and Gloy, B. (2009), "The impact of ethanol plants on cropland values in the great plains", Agricultural Finance Review, Vol. 69 No. 1, pp. 36-48.

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