PLAINVIEW — The numbers are impressive.
Located on 47 acres, the Husker Ag ethanol plant east of here consumes 35 million bushels of corn a year to produce 104 million gallons of ethanol, 33 million pounds of corn oil and 500,000 tons per year of distiller’s grain. It sees up to 300 semi-trailer trucks on its property every day.
Those numbers represent the work and dedication of the Husker Ag employees.
The 58 employees at Husker Ag work cohesively together to reach their goals. The team members are dedicated to their work and strive to continue working efficiently, said Seth Harder, plant manager.
The team has been working toward its goal of producing 100 million gallons of ethanol. This year, the team reached that goal.
“It takes an extreme amount of hard work from people working on a team together,” Harder said.
In March 2016, the Husker Ag board of directors engaged in a strategic planning session. An engineering study helped find ways to increase areas of production, including throughput, yield and oil production.
The plant is going through two phases — focusing on expansion and efficiency.
The expansion is almost complete and reflected in surpassing the goal of producing 100 million gallons of ethanol. Husker Ag is striving to get to the point where it produces more than 2.90 gallons of ethanol per bushel of corn and is now at 2.88 gallons.
The plant’s efficiency effort also involves increasing the amount of ethanol produced per bushel of corn, as well as how much oil is produced per bushel. Another goal is reducing its carbon score. Harder said the plant is about one-third of its way to completing this phase of improvements.
With the physical expansion also came the addition of a new 1.2-million gallon “final tank.” The plant’s total storage capacity now is 3.6 million gallons.
In order to facilitate that many gallons of ethanol being produced, 5,000 feet of additional rail track was added to accommodate an additional 80 rail cars. The ethanol plant produces almost 70 rail cars a week of ethanol.
And with the new addition, it puts the total number of its cars at 160. The rail expansion was completed in March of 2018.
Harder said he’s pleased that the team members’ hard work and dedication has not gone unnoticed. In fact, Husker Ag is ranked in the top 10 percent ethanol plants in a latest benchmark of 57 ethanol plants.
The ranking of ethanol plants is based on a variety of factors, including net income and earnings before taxes and depreciation.
“To meet all of our goals, it takes everybody working as hard as they can to make it all come together,” Harder said.
The team members’ dedication is a big factor in the company reaching their goals, he added.
“To demonstrate the numbers we are demonstrating, meeting our goals, and expanding the production, it takes everyone coming together — and that’s Husker Ag,” he said.