2020 Tasks

FROM THE JANUARY ISSUE: Editor Lisa Gibson previews the magazine, including feature articles about collaboration with the petroleum industry, an ethanol margins and the 2019 growing season and harvest, 2020's executive outlook, and more.
By Lisa Gibson | December 19, 2019

As this industry heads into a new year, we bring a few of 2019’s tasks with us. We continue to fight for the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard, we’re on guard waiting for a high-octane standard, and we’re doing the work to get E15 at more retail stations, post-waiver. It’s not all bad, but we are coming out of a tough year.

We lead this issue with the possibility of working with the oil industry to maintain incentives for liquid fuels. It’s not our proposal. We’re just bringing it to you. We’ve heard industry leaders talk about the necessity of working with the petroleum industry instead of against it. A speaker at 2019’s National Ethanol Conference proposed it to unsuspecting ears.

In our cover story on page 14, associate editor Matt Thompson explores what that teamwork might look like, who the players might be, and even gets their input. While there are areas where competition will remain, our sources tell us there also are opportunities to partner up.

And we’re welcoming January still reporting on low margins. They are improving for some plants, as lowering input costs and maximizing efficiency are paying off. Crop condition plays a role, as well, requiring corn to move from west to east inside the Corn Belt. The crop hasn’t been consistent across the Corn Belt, so neither is feedstock supply. A multitude of factors will play a role, some still uncertain. Find out more on page 22.

Finally, we look ahead into 2020 with an executive outlook. We’ve asked a few sources what they see coming this year in regard to a variety of topics, good and bad. Find those Q&As starting on page 30.

It’s a new year, but the new calendar doesn’t wipe clean the slate of work the ethanol industry still faces from 2019. We’ll continue to cover what’s relevant and newsworthy, with input from experts in the thick of it. In January of 2020, the ethanol industry takes a fresh leap into the same tasks. We’ll be here to cover the progress.

Happy New Year.

Author: Lisa Gibson