According to a news report on Reuters, soaring feedstock prices, rising construction costs, tight credit markets, and ethanol prices that haven't kept up with the soaring cost of gasoline are to blame for about a dozen U.S. ethanol plants filing for bankruptcy protection.
It also seems that, while gasoline companies are required by law to mix renewable fuels into the fossil stuff, they don't want to pay very much for it, and so the ethanol producers aren't getting enough to cover their costs.
This would all be deliciously ironic if it weren't for the fact that corn is in just about every product we eat or even touch these days. I've read about downward spirals from the times before my time -- the Depression, the Dust Bowl. It sure feels weird to look around and realize I'm in the middle of one.