(Jamie) Welcome to Farm Factor at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Meetings. Today Duane Toews visits with Matt Merritt with POET.
(Duane) Duane Toews, joining you with AGam in Kansas. And while at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Meetings in Kansas City, Missouri, a chance to talk a little bit about renewable fuel bioenergy and that type of a program that we’ve put together for you. We’ve got the folks at POET, Matt Merritt joins us with the program. And Matt tell us a little bit about the company and where POET stands on renewable fuels. (Matt) Well POET is one of the largest ethanol producers in the world. We have 27 ethanol plants, well 28 ethanol plants now, spread across seven states in the midwest. Our headquarters are in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but we actually have a pretty good Kansas connection with all of our ethanol marketing handled by POET Ethanol Products, which is out of Wichita. (Duane) We think about the opportunities. The ethanol industry really is, has got a good foothold now and as we move forward. But there are a lot of factors that play into the success of a plant. (Matt) Yea, absolutely and POET’s been a very successful company because we’ve had such strong support in rural America. We’ve got really a lot of buy-in from all the farmers, the local communities, the states have been so supportive of everything that we’re doing. And right now what we’re kind of focused on is the Environmental Protection Agency and they’ve got a pretty important decision coming up is how much renewable fuel needs to be blended into the fuel supply for the coming year. Earlier this year they gave us a preliminary number that was really cutting the market a little bit for ethanol. In the meantime, since then there’s been hundreds of thousands of people who have been sending in comments to the EPA letting them know hey, this is a really important industry for America. Really important industry for the Midwest especially. (Duane) We think about POET as a company many people probably don’t think of it as an agricultural company, but when you look at the feedstocks that go into those plants, obviously they’re a big player in agriculture. (Matt) Right. Obviously most of the corn in the U.S., most of the ethanol in the U.S. is produced using corn as the feedstock. We take that starch portion of the corn, turn that into ethanol, and then we take the protein micronutrients, those other parts of the corn kernel return that into the feed industry through something called distillers grains. And then we have one plant that we just recently finished construction on and we’ve been in start up this year that’s a cellulosic ethanol plant and that uses corn, cobs, leaves, husks, kind of that plant material and uses that as a new feedstock to produce even more ethanol. That’s the first of its kind. We’re really excited about that plant. It’s in Emmetsburg, Iowa. We’re excited to get that off the ground. And you know if that market keeps looking like it’s going to be growing be able to replicate that everywhere and that’s a new opportunity for farmers. Basically a new crop on the land they already have. (Duane) Our thanks to Matt Merritt with POET joining us here in Kansas City. Jamie we’ll send it back to you in studio.
(Jamie) Folks, stay with us – Duane will be back in a moment with Rob Shaffer.