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Prairie Gleanings

What's in store for ethanol in 2009?

Published on: January 8, 2009

I'm a sucker for top-ten lists. I can't help reading down a list, all the while agreeing or disagreeing with each choice.


For list lovers such as me, the start of a new year means list after list from the previous year's events. Therefore, with great anticipation I opened an e-mail that promised the "Top Ten Ethanol Stories from 2008." The list was compiled by Domestic Fuel, an alternative fuels Web site.


I must admit numbers six through ten didn't really strike me as that significant. However, the top five ethanol stories of 2008 were truly shocking, meaning I would not have suspected such events at the start of 2008. Without further ado, here are the top five.


5. VeraSun files for bankruptcy.

4. Obama, an ethanol supporter, is elected.

3. Gas, corn and ethanol prices peaked, and then came tumbling down.

2. The GMA launched a polished food vs. fuel public relations campaign.

1. Gov. Perry's RFS partial waiver request is denied.


For the most part, I agree with the top five ethanol stories of 2008. However, there was one story that didn't make the list. Explosive corn prices caused quite a division among the ag community this summer. In fact, at November's Illinois Commodity Conference, Orion Samuelson identified this as one of the biggest events from 2008.


I wonder what's in store for ethanol in 2009. Personally, I think the industry will have a tough time gaining ground as long as gas prices remain low. What do you think is in store for ethanol in 2009?


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