The high cost of corn, and subsequently barley, has played a key role in squelching plans to open Appomattox Bio Energy Plant in Hopewell, Va.

Officers of the parent company, Osage Bio Energy, made the announcement late yesterday afternoon (May 23) that the company will not begin production of ethanol as scheduled this spring.

The plant is ready for production and will be maintained by a small crew of workers pending sale of the facility. Designed to run primarily from barley stock, the plant has done test runs using corn as stock, likely in hopes of attracting buyers.

Perdue, a grain buying partner with Osage Bio reportedly will make good on all the barley contracts issued to Virginia growers for the 2011 barley crop. The company bought barley last fall, but has subsequently sold their on-site grain that had been held in storage at the Hopewell facility.

Osage Bio Energy announced that, after a review of strategic alternatives, its board of directors has decided to market the company for sale.

The company will implement a reduction in force effective May 25, 2011. A core team of employees will continue to work at the plant to help facilitate the sale and maintain the condition of the assets for prospective buyers.