Q Who is Terra Grain Fuels?
A TGF is a completely owned company with Just Energy.
Q How much wheat do you use and how much ethanol and dried distillers grains (DDG) do you produce?
A The TGF Plant uses approximately 15 million bushels of wheat annually. From that, TGF produces approximately 150 million litres of ethanol as well as 160,000 tons of DDGs. With these volumes, the TGF Plant is the largest wheat ethanol plant in North America.
Q How much storage do you have on site?
A We have approximately 1.4 million bushels of storage or a one month supply for the plant.
Q What kinds of wheat are you contracting for?
A TGF prefers high starch (low protein) wheats. TGF is willing to contract for all CPS reds and whites, soft white wheats such as AC Andrew, as well as winter wheats of the producer’s choosing.
Q What is TGF’s spec for the wheat it accepts?
A TGF’s current spec is very similar to what you will find on the CGC web site for # 2 CPS. TGF is looking for wheat that is 58 lbs with moisture content no greater than 14.5 percent.
Q What about dockage, fusarium, vomitoxin and ergot?
A Regarding dockage for foreign or other material, the TGF spec is very similar to the CGC at around 1 percent. Fusarium has a tighter spec, as it is detrimental to the ethanol co-product DDG. Ergot and Vomitoxin have a tighter spec as well. The byproduct of any ethanol plant is DDGs. This is sought after by the livestock industry as an easily digestible high source of protein. Unfortunately, Ergot and Vomitoxin are not destroyed in the ethanol process
Q What happens if I sign a contract and lose my crop?
A Mother Nature can be cruel and we at TGF, being producers ourselves, know that better than anyone. Because of this you will find a very liberal “Act of God” clause in all TGF Producer Direct Contracts.
Q If I sign a one year contract, will I be able to extend the term and or increase the volume in the second year?
A Simply notify us, by fax, of your intention to extend and or increase your volume prior to October 1 of the current crop year and we would, within seven days, provide you with our current Producer Direct Program Offer and availability of volume for your review and acceptance.
Q What happens if I sign with you now and have second thoughts?
A Not a problem. You have 7 days to contact us to cancel your agreement. We sincerely hope though, that you will contact us to answer your questions and/or alleviate your concerns, prior to making a decision to cancel.
Q Why do we get to deal direct?
A There are two reasons. The first is that the grain we are contracting for is typically not a milling grade wheat and more likely to be classified as a feed wheat. The second is that the product we are producing is not for human consumption.
Q Does TGF charge for elevation, handling, cleaning and drying?
A As long as the wheat meets spec, TGF charges nothing. Prior to delivery, you will typically send us a sample. If there are issues with the sample submitted compared to spec, we will inform you so that you may rectify the problem or together we can discuss options.
Q How do we get the grain to you?
A All prices quoted for contracts or otherwise are delivered to the TGF plant at Belle Plaine. You are responsible to get the wheat to us either via your own equipment or through the use of haulers.
Q Why do TGF people keep talking about the gross dollars per acre?
A Being producers ourselves, we understand that the price per bushel or price per ton is not the whole story. Our focus groups, current and historical crop reports and our own experience have shown that growing ethanol friendly varieties has consistently yielded as much as 35 percent, higher than other varieties. We ourselves have experienced yields as high as 70 bpa and have heard from other ethanol plants and producers yields of 80 bpa all without irrigation. TGF folks will always be conservative and for most models have used a 61 bpa to calculate returns.
Q How do your prices compare?
A Obviously they have to and will be competitive over the long term. While prices may appear to be lower than those of other varieties such as milling grade wheats one has to focus on the gross return per acre when making their decision. A producer has to sell at a net $5.00 a bushel for a variety that averages 40 bpa where a net of $3.60 a bushel for an ethanol friendly variety would achieve 10% more gross dollars per acre.
Q What about deliveries? Am I going to have to wait in line for hours or wait by the phone for you to call?
A The answer to both questions is an absolute NO. Once you have signed your TGF Producer Direct Agreement, you will be connected with the TGF logistics team. They will work with you to determine your volume, distance from the plant, trucking equipment (yours or contracted), and any special requirements you may have. Everyone will be treated equally and will have their deliveries scheduled throughout the year and divided accordingly. Once the schedule is agreed to, your time slots will be your time slots. If that time slot is two loads every Monday morning and two loads every Monday afternoon, when your trucks show up they will be unloaded. If for some reason you cannot meet your schedule, our logistics team will work with you to resolve the matter.
Q How do I get paid?
A We have several options and if necessary we should be able to accommodate any special needs. Within ten days of delivery, a cheque will be available for mail or pick up or a direct deposit will be made into your account.
Q What if I contract with you for a certain number of bushels, but end up with a bumper crop so to speak?
A TGF recognizes that producers will be cautious with the volumes/bushels they agree to supply. Given our personal experience with the higher yields we do not contract for 100% of the plant’s requirements. This leaves room for our producer partners to sell excess wheat to us.
Q Are you licensed by the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC)?
A Yes, we are fully licensed by the CGC and have a bond to cover outstanding liabilities, issued to producers for grain deliveries.