Rising production of ethanol in Missouri has seemed to follow a rise in gas prices, but the two are not necessarily related. Tony Stafford with the State Agriculture Department says there are three ethanol plants already in operation in the state, with more to come. Projected ethanol production for this year in Missouri is more than 70 million gallons, up from just nine million gallons five years ago. Stafford says while gas prices have gone up during that time, there’s not necessarily a direct cause-and-effect between the two. He believes production has gone up because it helps farmers manage their risk. Stafford says if corn prices are high, they make their money selling their grain on the market. If corn prices are low, the money is made at the ethanol plant.