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What does the future look like for the ethanol industry?

Photo from Lincolnland Agri-Energy

Ethanol production is slowly climbing as plants begin to recover from COVID-19 losses.

Eric Mosbey is the General Manager of Lincolnland Agri-Energy in Palestine, Illinois. He says it will be interesting to see how the industry responds throughout the recovery process.

“Will we come right back on and blow right through those old production numbers and increase stocks again only to crash the margin? Or will we take a more measured approach? I am hoping for the latter.”

University of Illinois ag economist Todd Hubbs says the pandemic demolished the good ethanol production and corn use numbers producers had coming into 2020. He says the April corn use for ethanol numbers that USDA will report on June 1st could be a “real shocker” but he expects numbers to build back up in May.

“When we think about where ethanol is headed, I think we may have seen the worst of it. Barring some kind of rekindling of the pandemic, I think we are going to build and strengthen.”

Mosbey says he thinks there will be growth for higher ethanol blends eventually, but it could be a long, slow road as they make up for export and demand losses.

Mosbey and Hubbs made their comments during a farmdoc “Coronavirus and Ag” webinar this week.  

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