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GREEN PLAINS 2011 ANNUAL REPORT
The world has changed immensely when we think about
crop production and commodity flows. Twenty-five
years ago, no one was thinking that a single agricultural
commodity — corn — would become a significant fuel
feedstock for our automobiles. Today, ethanol represents
10% of U.S. gasoline demand. This ranks third in supply
sources for the U.S., only behind domestic and Canadian oil
production. As the world population continues to grow, the
need for more renewable sources of fuel will grow. This will
influence world crop production as agricultural crops now
become energy crops.
The challenge in seeing possibilities lies in the perspective
one holds. Green Plains views the corn kernel as a source
of energy, or a BTU generator. This point of view opens up
unlimited possibilities.
BTUs for animals — Feed. BTUs for people — Food.
BTUs for automobiles — Fuel.
By thinking of a kernel of corn in terms of energy or BTUs,
we are able to measure the value we extract. This serves as a
scorecard for our performance — the more BTUs we extract,
the more value we generate. Moreover, keeping score serves
to challenge the competitive spirit of our people.
A question we ask ourselves is: How much energy can
a bushel of corn produce?
Pursuing this answer thus far has produced more than
304,400 BTUs per bushel of corn. Based on our platform,
that is approximately eighty trillion BTUs annually.
Additionally, this “BTU pursuit” has driven Green Plains to
leverage its organizational knowledge in capturing growth
and synergies in three additional business segments:
agribusiness, corn oil and marketing & distribution. But, we
have a lot of opportunity remaining.
We realize that each kernel holds vast and varied options,
not just fuel for vehicles, but fuel in the form of feed and food.
We also know that in the process of extracting this energy,
we generate the customary co-products, such as distillers
grains and corn oil, but also the unconventional and untapped
opportunities from capturing and utilizing the inevitable
production of carbon dioxide that occurs in manufacturing.
When we focus on capturing energy, we discover new
opportunities and harmonize our institutional knowledge
with our infrastructural and people resources. It is a sound
and robust strategy.
Extracting Value
235,000 BTUs
of fuel energy
for vehicles
TODAY 1 BUSHEL
OF CORN PRODUCES:
8,500 BTUs
of corn oil energy
for feed or fuel
60,900 BTUs
of distillers grains
for feed