Scoular Grain Company and Pratt Energy work hand-in-hand, side-by-side to produce ethanol, fueling America and providing a steady market for farmers producing grain in the region.
Working hand-in-hand, Scoular supplies grain for the Pratt Energy ethanol plant just over 2 miles north of Pratt. On Feb. 26, the two businesses sponsored a thank you event to express their gratitude to the community and share the status of their businesses. Dozens gathered at the Pratt County Fairgrounds to enjoy a meal and learn about the businesses.
T.J. Mandl, manager for Scoular Company, said the two companies are perfect partners. Scoular has field direct trucking where they send trucks to the field to pick up grain. In 2018, they dispatched from 30 to 35 trucks during harvest.
In an effort to better serve the community, they now have e-mail verification for pricing contracts. Customers can use the Scoular app to look at the contract and see what they are paying, Mandl said.
Pratt Energy President Lyle Schyler, said the ethanol industry was going through a tough patch in general. Their overview of the ethanol industry is different from the trade publications and newspapers.
The industry produces about 16 billion gallons of ethanol a year but the U.S. only uses about 14 billion a year. About 25 to 30 percent goes to foreign markets.
“We can produce a heck of a lot more (ethanol) than we consume,” Schyler said.
At Pratt Energy, one third of the ethanol produced is shipped to California because of the ethanol’s carbon intensity. Also, a lot of their product goes south to Oklahoma.
Pratt Energy likes to use local corn and milo in their product, Schyler said.
Plant operations are geared to industry needs. A year ago, the plant slowed down when rates were lower in an effort to help reduce the supply and increase the price.
Schyler said they are always looking for ways to improve plant efficiency.
Pratt Energy Plant Manager Dave Mog said the plant was very energy efficient and has zero water discharge. They use the same steam four times during the manufacturing process.
The plant runs non-stop 24-7 and grinds 53,000 bushel of grain every day producing 150,000 gallons of ethanol every day. They ship out 45 trucks of wet, distillers grain a day. More than 120 trucks are processed every day as well. The employees are very dedicated and work hard.
“The plant is very efficient,” Mog said.
Enzymes are a critical part of the ethanol process. They would rather get high enzyme enogen corn from local producers than have to purchase from other sources because it saves the plant money, Schyler said.
The plant is always striving to get their carbon intensity down because that is more desirable in the industry. The average carbon intensity in California is from 75 to 79 while the Pratt plant produces levels at 65 that is more desirable.
Schyler said they connect with the community whenever possible including when school children take a tour of facility lab.
The Scoular and Pratt Energy facilities are located on NE 30th Street near U.S. 61 in Pratt County.