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September 1997 - Page 55


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The reason for BNSF' outlay rests with one com s pany-Minnesota Corn P rocessor&. M i n n e s o t a Corn Processors began p r o d u c i n g high fructose corn sweetener ( HFCS )-a key ingre q ient in soft drinks-at i t s C o l u m b u s , Ne braska , plant in Septem b er 1 99 2 . T h i s p l a n t proce s s e s about 200,000 bushels of corn each day, and each 5 5 -pound bushel y i e l d s 4 3 . 5 p o u n d s o f fruc tose (enough to sweeten 325 cans of soda pop ) . The re-

maining by-products are fermented and turned into e t h a n o l , a p o p u l a r fuel a d d i t i v e . Each year, t h e C o l u m b u s o p e r a t i o n p r o d u c e s m o re t h a n o n e m i l l i o n t o n s o f H FC S a n d 8 0 m i l l i o n g a l l o n s o f ethanol-which tran s l ates i n t o 3 0 t o 4 0 r a i l car loads per day. Minnesota Corn Processors generally receives all o f its c o r n b y t ru c k- b u t s h i p s i t s HFCS, ethanol , corn meal, and corn starch via both truck and rail .

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