Corn-Powered in Yuma

A Colorado farm town fuels its future on ethanol. It's far from a sure bet

John Lee / Aurora Select for TIME

Ethanol storage tanks lined up at ICM Inc. an ethanol plant under construction in the outskirts of Yuma, Colorado.

Most days, main street in the tiny farm community of Yuma, Colo., is slow, save for a few folks meandering from Hardware Hank's to the coffee shop and maybe some pickup trucks poking along, the better to avoid a stray dog or loose child.

But this agricultural town of 3,400, where Colorado's greenest acres gently slope into Kansas and Nebraska, is placing itself smack in the middle of the global energy game. Farmers are plowing their fields, planting corn and feeding cattle while work continues on the first of two multimillion-dollar corn-ethanol plants that could transform Yuma into one of the...

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