The operator of an ethanol plant in Fairmont, Minn., plans to idle the plant indefinitely because of low operating margins caused by high corn prices.

Biofuel Energy Corp., based in Denver., Colo., said Monday that the 110 million gallon per year plant will remain idle until the company can secure corn at better prices.

Corn prices have climbed amid the worst drought in the Corn Belt in decades. In the Star Tribune's latest quarterly survey of the ethanol industry, seven Minnesota-affiliated companies reported net losses for the second quarter, including Biofuel Energy Corp.

In a statement, the company said its other plant in Nebraska will continue operating.

Meanwhile, the operator of the Central MN Ethanol Co-op in Little Falls, Minn., said Monday it was in the process of resuming operations after going idle in July because of corn prices and availability.

David Shaffer • 612-673-7090