Newsletter | Apirl 2019
Show Me Ethanol News
Note from Our General Manager:
The fourth quarter newsletter each year contains some reflection on the year just ended and some comments on the challenges for the coming year. This year, the concern over excess production, low margins, and year round unleaded 88 (E15) sales were the primary focal points, and so far, they still are. But add on top of those, the flooding in Nebraska that created logistical nightmares for several plants and the continued demand destruction caused by the Small Refiner Exemptions granted by the EPA. I think we have learned over the years that this industry faces surprises with relative certainty each year.
Even though we are in an oversupply environment, it seems that most plants continue to produce as many gallons of ethanol as they are able. Obviously, when the market is flooded with product, we are rewarded with lower prices. During the first quarter, SME was able to generate a small profit. It is primarily due to the efficiencies that are part of the company culture, along with some market advantage during the flooding north of us. We continue to operate at record production levels and will as long as we can generate a profit. I spoke of thin margins, and it seems the industry and specifically SME will not see a change to this environment until something occurs to boost lagging ethanol values.
On another positive note, it appears that year round sales of Unleaded 88 will become a reality on June 1 this year. EPA held a public hearing on March 29 to hear comments on the proposed rulemaking. They have also allowed written comments and will close that window on April 29. It is hoped that the final ruling will be released in advance of the summer driving season. It will take some time to see a significant impact from this, as most retailers may not be able to convert to Unleaded 88 immediately.
It’s easy to get discouraged when the company struggles to make a profit and may not be able to send out distribution checks, but this has always been a volatile market and the overall return on your investment has been great. In addition to the returns is the increased value of each bushel of corn grown and sold to support the ethanol industry. Locally, we purchase over 20 million bushels each year, creating greater demand and value for corn.
The first quarter of 2019 had its share of positive and negative influences, and we keep looking to the future to see what adventures lie ahead.
Our Mission Statement: To provide clean and renewable products to our customers, quality returns for our investors, while providing safe and ethical working conditions and benefits for our employees.
Several SME employees were able to support the sandbagging efforts, and the company provided food and drinks one evening to the Norborne area volunteers. Many thanks to the hundreds of volunteers, emergency service providers, and state officials who helped keep the flood impact minimal in our area.
On Saturday, March 23, Show Me Ethanol held its annual meeting. There were approximately 100 members in attendance, along with board members and management. Several company employees were also in attendance, in addition to State Representative Peggy McGaugh. There was a change of venue, and the meeting was held at the Carrollton School this year.
After a delicious meal, Board Chairman David Durham announced the board’s recommendation for filling expiring terms and John Letzig and Rob Korff were re-elected. General Manager Rich Hanson spent several minutes going over the financial and operating results for 2018, as well as sharing some commentary on the primary price influences for the year. He and Mr. Durham answered a few questions at the end of his presentation. Mr. Durham then adjourned the business meeting and introduced Representative McGaugh and she spoke for a short while.
Curriculum to Promote Biofuels Education in the Classroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 18, 2019, Growth Energy, in partnership with the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE), announced the release of their new curriculum aimed at educating high school students to the world of biofuels. The curriculum is the first industry-supported biofuels curriculum that provides students a guided in-classroom experience and will offer ag educators the tools needed to provide students with an array of technical skills and historical knowledge in biofuels.
“Our one-of-a-kind curriculum offers students a glimpse into the innovative world of biofuels,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “Every day, the biofuels industry is working alongside the ag community to provide cleaner fuels and products for American drivers and consumers. We are excited for high school students to experience first-hand the role STEM education plays in our nation’s agriculture and energy and learn through our curriculum how the next generation of biofuels are moving rural America into the future. We are proud to offer this curriculum to our nation’s ag educators and help to foster a new generation of biofuels advocates among the leaders of tomorrow.”
Dr. Wm. Jay Jackman, NAAE executive director, said, “NAAE’s Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) team was pleased to partner with Growth Energy to develop these instructional resources to teach students, and teachers, the important role of biofuels in meeting energy demands for the twenty-first century.”
The curriculum offers agricultural educators a two-week long course with six activities. These activities not only allow students to produce their own biofuel and measure its energy content and emissions, but also give them the technological and historical background to ensure a full understanding of why science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities and biofuels are so important to agricultural innovation. The curriculum is available for download on Growth Energy’s website. https://growthenergy.org/resources/educational-resources/
What is in the biofuels curriculum?
• Learn the historical, political, and technological aspects of the relationship between biofuels and agriculture
• Conduct STEM-based experiments and lab work on ethanol’s distillation, combustion, and energy content
• Access downloadable presentations to help students visualize the impact and history of ethanol