It was announced on Friday that POET Biorefining's operations will be temporarily suspended as of February 1.
Macon was one of the worst-hit areas of last season's drought. And because of that, the local corn source has dropped dramatically.
According to POET General Manager, Steve Burnett, they are only receiving 30 bushels per acre compared to the normal 136 bushels per acre.
"Swine integrators, dairy feed mills, etc. are all fighting for the same bushels," said Burnett. " We have pretty much gotten all the corn there is in this part of the state and there's not much left."
On the bright side, the plants 44 employees will remain employed at their current hours. "I'm very blessed to be able to say that," said Burnett.
Many of the employees will assist with the installation of the $14.5 million upgrades occurring to the plant. The upgrades include: Voila corn oil technology which will provide an additional product for new revenue, full BPX technology, a new control system, a new and more efficient evaporator and a new administration building and scale house.
This plant has been open for 13 years and will continue to purchase corn for future use as it becomes available.