Clean Burn Fuels halts production at its ethanol plant in Hoke County, North Carolina, until high corn prices come down, places workers on furlough until production resumes in three months

DUNDARRACH, North Carolina , March 15, 2011 () – Officials at North Carolina's first ethanol plant say they are halting production temporarily in hopes that high corn prices will drop.

The Fayetteville Observer reported Friday that Clean Burn Fuels in Hoke County will place an undetermined number of its 40 workers on furlough for two to three months until production resumes.

Company President Jack Carlisle said corn prices have doubled in the past few months largely because of increased demands from developing countries. Meanwhile, ethanol prices have risen only a quarter of that amount.

Projections call for 92 million acres of corn to be grown in the U.S. in 2011, compared with 88.2 million acres last year.

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