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      AGP Announces Shutdown of Hastings Corn Processing Plant

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      Ag Processing Inc. announced Friday that it has shut down operations of its corn processing plant in Hastings. The shutdown is effective Feb. 1, putting 43 people out of a job.

      Company officials cite ongoing challenging economic conditions in the ethanol industry for the decision to shutdown the plant for an extended period of time.

      AGP is planning to monitor and evaluate market conditions as it continues into the future.

      The cooperative also operates a soybean processing plant, a vegetable oil refinery and an AminoPlus production facility in Hastings. Those operations have not been impacted by the shutdown.

      "The decision to shut down our corn processing plant in Hastings was very difficult due to the employees affected and the loss of an important market outlet for area farmers," said Keith Spackler, CEO and General Manager for AGP. "Our facility, like other corn processing plants in the Midwest, continues to experience negative margins due to higher corn prices driven by ongoing drought conditions, and lower ethanol prices."

      The company says that despite the challenges facing the industry, they still believe in renewable fuels.

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