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Red Trail Energy, Llc (REGX) SEC Filing 10-K Annual Report for the fiscal year ending Thursday, September 30, 2021

Red Trail Energy, Llc

CIK: 1359687 Ticker: REGX
Cover Page Document - USD ($)
12 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2021
Dec. 17, 2021
Document and Entity Information [Abstract]  
Entity Registrant NameRED TRAIL ENERGY, LLC 
Entity Central Index Key0001359687 
Current Fiscal Year End Date--09-30 
Entity Filer CategoryNon-accelerated Filer 
Entity Small Businessfalse 
Entity Emerging Growth Companyfalse 
Document Type10-K 
Document Period End DateSep. 30, 2021 
Document Fiscal Year Focus2021 
Document Fiscal Period FocusFY 
Document Annual Reporttrue 
Amendment Flagfalse 
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding 40,148,160
Entity Well-known Seasoned IssuerNo 
Entity Voluntary FilersNo 
Entity Current Reporting StatusYes 
Entity Shell Companyfalse 
Entity Public Float$ 34,969,920 
Entity File Number000-52033 
Entity Incorporation, State or Country CodeND 
Entity Tax Identification Number76-0742311 
Entity Address, Address Line TwoP.O. Box 11 
Entity Address, Address Line One3682 Highway 8 South 
Entity Address, State or ProvinceND 
Entity Address, City or TownRichardton 
Entity Address, Postal Zip Code58652 
Per unit price of membership units issued in real estate transaction$ 1 
Entity Interactive Data CurrentYes 
Local Phone Number974-3308 
City Area Code701 
Document Transition Reportfalse 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
FORM 10-K
 
xAnnual report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2021 

 oTransition report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
 
For the transition period from __________ to __________
 
COMMISSION FILE NUMBER000-52033

RED TRAIL ENERGY, LLC
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
North Dakota 76-0742311
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 (I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
   

3682 Highway 8 South, P.O. Box 11, Richardton, ND 58652
(Address of principal executive offices, Zip code)

(701) 974-3308
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act: None.

Title of each classTrading Symbol(s)Name of each exchange on which registered

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: Class A Membership Units

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
o Yes     x No

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.
o Yes     x No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
x Yes o No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
x Yes o No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,”and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

Large Accelerated Filer Accelerated Filer  
Non-Accelerated Filer Smaller Reporting Company
Emerging Growth Company

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.                 o


Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
o Yes     x No

The aggregate market value of the membership units held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of March 31, 2021 was $34,969,920.  There is no established public trading market for our membership units.  The aggregate market value was computed by reference to the most recent offering price of our Class A units which was $1 per unit.
 
As of December 17, 2021, there were 40,148,160 Class A Membership Units outstanding.


DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

The registrant has incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K portions of its definitive proxy statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the close of the fiscal year covered by this Annual Report.

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INDEX
Page Number
PART I
Item 1. Business
Item IA. Risk Factors
Item 2. Properties
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
PART II
Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Member Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures
Item 9B. Other Information
PART III
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
Item 11. Executive Compensation
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Member Matters
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
Item 14. Principal Accountant Fees and Services
PART IV
Item 15. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules
SIGNATURES


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CAUTIONARY STATEMENTS REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This annual report contains historical information, as well as forward-looking statements that involve known and unknown risks and relate to future events, our future financial performance, or our expected future operations and actions. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "expect," "plan," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "future," "intend," "could," "hope," "predict," "target," "potential," or "continue" or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are only our predictions based on current information and involve numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties. Our actual results or actions may differ materially from these forward-looking statements for many reasons, including the reasons described in this report. While it is impossible to identify all such factors, factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those estimated by us include:

A slowdown in global and regional economic activity, demand for our products and the potential for labor shortages and shipping disruptions resulting from pandemics including COVID-19;
The reduction or elimination of the renewable fuels use requirement in the Federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS);
The Chinese distillers grains tariffs and their impact on world distillers grains markets;
The Chinese and Brazilian ethanol import duties and their impact on world ethanol demand and prices;
Any delays in shipping our products by rail and corresponding decreases in our sales as a result of these shipping delays;
An unfavorable spread between the market price of our products and our feedstock costs;
Fluctuations in the price and market for ethanol, distillers grains and corn oil;
Availability and costs of our raw materials, particularly corn and natural gas;
Changes in or lack of availability of credit;
Changes in the environmental regulations that apply to our plant operations and our ability to comply with such regulations;
Ethanol supply exceeding demand and corresponding ethanol price reductions impacting our ability to operate profitably and maintain a positive spread between the selling price of our products and our raw material costs;
Our ability to generate and maintain sufficient liquidity to fund our operations, meet debt service requirements and necessary capital expenditures;
Our ability to continue to meet our loan covenants;
Limitations and restrictions contained in the instruments and agreements governing our indebtedness;
Results of our hedging transactions and other risk management strategies;
Changes in or elimination of governmental laws, tariffs, trade or other controls or enforcement practices that currently benefit the ethanol industry including:
national, state or local energy policy - examples include legislation already passed such as the California low-carbon fuel standard as well as potential legislation in the form of carbon cap and trade;
legislation mandating the use of ethanol or other oxygenate additives; or
environmental laws and regulations that apply to our plant operations and their enforcement.
Changes and advances in ethanol production technology; and
Competition from alternative fuels and alternative fuel additives.

Our actual results or actions could and likely will differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements for many reasons, including the reasons described in this report. We are not under any duty to update the forward-looking statements contained in this report. We cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. We caution you not to put undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this report. You should read this report and the documents that we reference in this report and have filed as exhibits completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from what we currently expect. We qualify all of our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements.

AVAILABLE INFORMATION
 
Information about us is also available at our website at www.redtrailenergyllc.com, under "SEC Compliance," which includes links to reports we have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The contents of our website are not incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
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PART I
ITEM 1.    BUSINESS

Business Development

    Red Trail Energy, LLC was formed as a North Dakota limited liability company in July of 2003, for the purpose of constructing, owning and operating a fuel-grade ethanol plant near Richardton, North Dakota in western North Dakota. References to "we," "us," "our" and the "Company" refer to Red Trail Energy, LLC. We began production in January 2007.

On February 1, 2021 we renewed our $10 million Revolving Loan with Cornerstone Bank. In addition, on February 1, 2021 we entered into a $28 million construction loan with Cornerstone Bank for the carbon capture and storage project. The maturity date of the loan is January 31, 2022. The variable interest rate is 3.00%.

Principal Products
    
    The principal products that we produce are ethanol, distillers grains and corn oil. The table below shows the approximate percentage of our total revenue which is attributed to each of our primary products for each of our last three fiscal years.

ProductFiscal Year 2021Fiscal Year 2020Fiscal Year 2019
Ethanol76.9 %76.1 %77.7 %
Distillers Grains17.8 %19.4 %19.3 %
Corn Oil4.4 %4.0 %2.5 %

Ethanol

Ethanol is ethyl alcohol, a fuel component made primarily from corn and various other grains, which can be used as: (i) an octane enhancer in fuels; (ii) an oxygenated fuel additive for the purpose of reducing ozone and carbon monoxide vehicle emissions; and (iii) a non-petroleum-based gasoline substitute. Ethanol produced in the United States is primarily used for blending with unleaded gasoline and other fuel products. Ethanol blended fuel is typically designated in the marketplace according to the percentage of the fuel that is ethanol, with the most common fuel blend being E10, which contains 10% ethanol. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (the "EPA") has approved the use of gasoline blends that contain 15% ethanol, or E15, for use in all vehicles manufactured in model year 2001 and later. In 2019, the EPA changed regulations which now allow E15 to be sold year-round in all markets in the United States, however, this rule was recently reversed by the federal courts. In addition, flexible fuel vehicles can use gasoline blends that contain up to 85% ethanol called E85.

As a result of an emergency domestic need resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, some ethanol plants provided ethanol to be used for the production of hand sanitizer and related products. Some ethanol plants have subsequently announced plans to install equipment to allow USP-grade ethanol production which can also be used for disinfectants, pharmaceuticals, fragrances, cosmetics and other industrial applications. We engaged in some limited ethanol sales for sanitizer use during our 2020 fiscal year. Approximately 3.9% of our revenues were from industrial ethanol sales during our 2020 fiscal year. We did not have any industrial ethanol sales during our 2021 fiscal year.

Distillers Grains

The principal co-product of the ethanol production process is distillers grains, a high protein animal feed supplement primarily marketed to the dairy and beef industry. We produce two forms of distillers grains: distillers dried grains and modified distillers grains. Modified distillers grains is processed corn mash that has been dried to approximately 50% moisture which has a shelf life of approximately seven days and is often sold to nearby markets. Distillers dried grains is processed corn mash that has been dried to approximately 10% moisture. It has a longer shelf life and may be sold and shipped to any market regardless of its vicinity to our ethanol plant.


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Corn Oil

    In March 2012, we commenced operating our corn oil extraction equipment. The corn oil that we are capable of producing is not food grade corn-oil and it cannot be used for human consumption. The primary uses of the corn oil that we produce are for animal feed, industrial uses and biodiesel production.

Principal Product Markets

We market nearly all of our products through a professional third party marketer, RPMG, Inc. ("RPMG"). The only products we sell which are not marketed by RPMG are E85 and E30 and certain modified distillers grains which we market internally to local customers. RPMG is a subsidiary of Renewable Products Marketing Group, LLC ("RPMG, LLC"). We are a part owner of RPMG, LLC which allows us to realize favorable marketing fees for our products and allows us to share in the profits generated by RPMG, LLC. Our ownership interest in RPMG, LLC also entitles us to a seat on its board of directors which is filled by Gerald Bachmeier, our Chief Executive Officer.  Except for the modified distillers grains and E85/E30 we market locally, RPMG decides where our products are marketed and sold. Our products are primarily sold in the domestic market; however, as domestic production of ethanol, distillers grains and corn oil continue to expand, we anticipate increased international sales of our products. For our 2021 fiscal year, the United States exports of distillers grains were primarily to Vietnam, the European Union, South Korea, Mexico and Turkey. China was not a significant source of export demand due to increased tariffs which make United States distillers grains not feasible for export to China. In addition, the United States exported significant amounts of ethanol to Canada, India, Columbia, Switzerland, Philippines, South Korea, Peru and the European Union during our 2021 fiscal year.

    We expect our product marketer to explore all markets for our products, including export markets. However, due to high transportation costs, and the fact that we are not located near a major international shipping port, we expect a majority of our products to continue to be marketed and sold domestically.

Distribution Methods

    Our ethanol plant is located near Richardton, North Dakota in Stark County, in the western half of North Dakota. We selected the Richardton site because of its proximity to existing coal supplies, the initial fuel source for our ethanol plant, and accessibility to road and rail transportation. Our plant is served by the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company.
 
    We sell and market the ethanol, distillers grains and corn oil produced at the plant through normal and established markets, including local, regional and national markets. Our products are primarily shipped by rail and by truck in our local market. We have separate marketing agreements with RPMG for our ethanol, distillers grains and corn oil. Whether or not our products are sold in local markets will depend on decisions made by RPMG, except for the E85/E30 and the modified distillers grains which we internally market locally. Local markets are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
 
Ethanol
 
    We have an exclusive marketing agreement with RPMG for the purposes of marketing and distributing all of the ethanol we produce at the ethanol plant. Because we are an owner of RPMG, LLC, our marketing fees are based on RPMG's actual cost to market our ethanol. Our ethanol marketing agreement provides that we can sell our ethanol either through an index arrangement or at a fixed price agreed to between us and RPMG. The term of our ethanol marketing agreement is perpetual, until it is terminated according to the terms of the agreement. The primary reasons the ethanol marketing agreement would terminate are if we cease to be an owner of RPMG, LLC, if there is a breach of the agreement which is not cured, or if we give advance notice to RPMG that we would like to terminate the agreement. Notwithstanding our right to terminate the ethanol marketing agreement, we may be obligated to continue to market our ethanol through RPMG for a period of time after the termination. Further, if the agreement is terminated, following the termination, we have agreed to accept an assignment of certain railcar leases which RPMG has secured to service us. If the ethanol marketing agreement is terminated, it would automatically trigger a redemption of our ownership interest in RPMG, LLC.

Distillers Grains
 
    On August 29, 2013, we executed a distillers grain marketing agreement with RPMG effective starting on October 1, 2013. Pursuant to the marketing agreement, RPMG markets all of the dried distillers grains we produce and we will continue to internally market our modified distillers grains. Due to the fact that we are a part owner of RPMG, LLC, RPMG will only charge us its actual cost of marketing our distillers grains to its customers.  The initial term of the marketing agreement was one year and thereafter the agreement renews for additional one year periods unless we elect not to renew the agreement. The
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agreement may be terminated by either party based on certain events described in the agreement or based on the bankruptcy or insolvency of either party.

    We market and sell our modified distillers grains internally.  Substantially all of our sales of modified distillers grains are to local farmers and feed lots.

Corn Oil

    In March 2012, we executed a corn oil marketing agreement with RPMG to sell all of the corn oil that we produce. We pay RPMG a commission based on each pound of corn oil that RPMG sells on our behalf. The initial term of the corn oil marketing agreement was one year and the agreement automatically renews for additional one year terms unless either party gives notice that it will not extend the agreement past the current term.

New Products and Services

    We did not introduce any new products or services during our 2021 fiscal year.

Sources and Availability of Raw Materials

Corn

Our ethanol plant used approximately 17.7 million bushels of corn during our 2021 fiscal year, as the feedstock for its dry milling process. Our commodity manager is responsible for purchasing corn for our operations, scheduling corn deliveries and establishing hedging positions to protect the price we pay for corn.

    During our 2021 fiscal year, while we were able to secure sufficient corn to operate the plant, management decided it was more profitable to take an extended maintenance shutdowns rather than pay higher corn prices. We do not anticipate any problems securing enough corn during our 2022 fiscal year. Almost all of our corn is supplied from farmers and local grain elevators in North Dakota and South Dakota. During our 2021 fiscal year, corn prices have been higher than prior years, mainly due to increased demand which was has been higher than the worldwide corn supply. On November 9, 2021, the USDA released a report estimating the 2021 corn crop in the United States at approximately 15.1 billion bushels, up 7% from last year's production, with yields averaging 177.0 bushels per acre. The USDA forecasted area harvested for grain at 85.1 million acres, up 3% from 2020. We have not had difficulty securing the corn we require for our operations and we anticipate that we will be able to secure the corn we need to operate the ethanol plant during our 2022 fiscal year, although potentially at a higher price. While we do not anticipate encountering problems sourcing corn, a shortage of corn could develop, particularly if we experience an extended drought or other production problem during our 2022 fiscal year.  Poor weather can be a major factor in increasing corn prices, including the drought experienced during our 2021 fiscal year.  If the United States were to endure an entire growing season with poor weather conditions, it could result in a prolonged period of higher than normal corn prices.  

    Corn prices are also impacted by world supply and demand, the price of other commodities, current and anticipated stocks, domestic and export prices and supports and the government's current and anticipated agricultural policy.  Corn prices have been volatile in the past and volatility could return to the market in the future.

Natural Gas

    We use natural gas as the fuel source to power our ethanol plant. We are using natural gas to produce process steam and to dry our distillers grains products. Due to our close proximity to the Bakken oil field which produces a significant amount of natural gas, we anticipate that natural gas prices in our area will remain lower and the cost to transport the natural gas to our ethanol plant will be low compared to our competitors. We entered into a natural gas supply agreement with Rainbow Gas Company which provides a supply of natural gas to the ethanol plant. We do not anticipate any difficulty securing the natural gas we require to operate the ethanol plant.

Electricity
    
    The production of ethanol uses significant amounts of electricity. We entered into a contract with Roughrider Electric Cooperative to provide our needed electrical energy.   This contract was renewed in August 2019. This contract automatically renews unless either party gives notice of its intent not to renew the agreement.


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Water

    To meet the plant's water requirements, we entered into a ten-year contract with Southwest Water Authority to purchase raw water.  Our contract requires us to purchase a minimum of 160 million gallons of water per year.  We anticipate receiving adequate water supplies during our 2022 fiscal year.

Patents, Trademarks, Licenses, Franchises and Concessions

    We do not currently hold any patents, trademarks, franchises or concessions. We were granted a perpetual and royalty free license by ICM, Inc. ("ICM") to use certain ethanol production technology necessary to operate our ethanol plant. The cost of the license granted by ICM was included in the amount we paid to Fagen, Inc. to design and build the plant.

Seasonality of Sales

    We experience some seasonality of demand for our ethanol, distillers grains and corn oil. Since ethanol is predominantly blended with gasoline for use in automobiles, ethanol demand tends to shift in relation to gasoline demand. As a result, we experience some seasonality of demand for ethanol in the summer months related to increased driving and, as a result, increased gasoline demand. In addition, we experience some increased ethanol demand during holiday seasons related to increased gasoline demand. We also experience decreased distillers grains demand during the summer months due to natural depletion in the number of animals at feed lots and during times when cattle are turned out to pasture. Finally, corn oil is used for biodiesel production which typically decreases in the winter months due to decreased biodiesel demand.

Working Capital

    We primarily use our working capital for purchases of raw materials necessary to operate our ethanol plant and for capital expenditures to maintain and upgrade the plant. During our 2021 fiscal year, our primary sources of working capital were cash from our operations as well as our revolving line-of-credit with Cornerstone.
    
Dependence on a Few Major Customers

    As discussed above, we rely on RPMG for the sale and distribution of all of our ethanol, dried distillers grains and corn oil. Accordingly, we are highly dependent on RPMG for the successful marketing of most of our products. We anticipate that we would be able to secure alternate marketers should RPMG fail, however, a loss of our relationship with RPMG could significantly harm our financial performance.

Competition

We are in direct competition with numerous ethanol producers, many of which have greater resources than we have. Larger ethanol producers may be able to take advantage of economies of scale due to their larger size and increased bargaining power with both customers and raw material suppliers. As of November 21, 2021, the Renewable Fuels Association ("RFA") estimates that there are 210 ethanol production facilities in the United States with capacity to produce approximately 17.5 billion gallons of ethanol annually. In the past, the ethanol industry experienced consolidation where a few larger ethanol producers emerged who control a large portion of United States ethanol production. The largest ethanol producers include Archer Daniels Midland, Green Plains Renewable Energy, POET, and Valero Renewable Fuels, each of which is capable of producing significantly more ethanol than we produce. Collectively this group controls approximately 40.0% of the ethanol production capacity in the United States.


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The following table identifies the largest ethanol producers in the United States along with their production capacities.

U.S. FUEL ETHANOL PRODUCTION CAPACITY BY TOP PRODUCERS
Producers of Approximately 900 million gallons per year or more
CompanyCurrent Capacity
(MMgy)
Percent of Total Industry Capacity
Archer Daniels Midland1,674 9.6 %
POET Biorefining2,648 15.2 %
Valero Renewable Fuels1,740 10.0 %
Green Plains Renewable Energy934 5.3 %
TOTAL6,996 40.0 %
        Updated: November 21, 2021

Ethanol Competition

Ethanol is a commodity product where competition in the industry is predominantly based on price and consistent fuel quality. Larger ethanol producers may be able to realize economies of scale in their operations that we are unable to realize. Further, we have experienced increased competition from oil companies who have purchased ethanol production facilities, including Valero Renewable Fuels, which is a subsidiary of a larger energy companies. Oil companies are required to blend a certain amount of ethanol each year. Therefore, the oil companies may be able to operate their ethanol production facilities at times when it is unprofitable for us to operate our ethanol plant. Further, some ethanol producers own multiple ethanol plants which may allow them to compete more effectively by providing them flexibility to run certain production facilities while they have other facilities shut down. This added flexibility may allow these ethanol producers to compete more effectively, especially during periods when operating margins are unfavorable in the ethanol industry. Finally some ethanol producers who own ethanol plants in geographically diverse areas of the United States may spread the risk they encounter related to feedstock prices due to localized decreased corn production and supplies.

    We anticipate competition from renewable fuels that do not use corn as the feedstock. Many of the current ethanol production incentives are designed to encourage the production of renewable fuels using raw materials other than corn. One type of ethanol production feedstock that is being explored is cellulose. Cellulose is the main component of plant cell walls and is the most common organic compound on earth. Cellulose is found in wood chips, corn stalks, rice straw, amongst other common plants. Cellulosic ethanol is ethanol produced from cellulose. Many corn-based ethanol producers have altered their plants to be able to produce cellulosic ethanol. Cellulosic ethanol may also capture more government subsidies and assistance than corn-based ethanol. This could decrease demand for our product or result in competitive disadvantages for our ethanol production process.

    A number of automotive, industrial and power generation manufacturers are developing alternative clean power systems using fuel cells, plug-in hybrids, electric cars or clean burning gaseous fuels. Electric car technology has grown in popularity, especially in urban areas. While in the past there were a limited number of vehicle recharging stations, making electric cars not feasible for all consumers, there has been increased focus on developing these recharging stations which have made electric car technology more widely available. Additional competition from these other sources of alternative energy, particularly in the automobile market, could reduce the demand for ethanol, which would negatively impact our profitability.

In addition to domestic producers of ethanol, we face competition from ethanol produced in foreign countries, particularly Brazil. Ethanol imports have been lower in recent years and ethanol exports have been higher which was one of the reasons for improved operating margins in the ethanol industry. As of May 1, 2013, Brazil increased its domestic ethanol use requirement from 20% to 25% which decreased the amount of ethanol available in Brazil for export. In addition, Brazil instituted a tariff on ethanol produced in the United States which has resulted in less ethanol exports to Brazil. In the future, we may experience increased ethanol imports from Brazil which could put negative pressure on domestic ethanol prices and result in excess ethanol supply in the United States. We continue to look for opportunities to export ethanol to other countries and open new markets for ethanol produced in the United States.

    Competition among ethanol producers may continue to increase as gasoline demand decreases due to more fuel efficient vehicles being produced. If the concentration of ethanol used in most gasoline does not increase and gasoline demand is lower due to increased fuel efficiency by the vehicles operated in the United States, competition may increase among ethanol producers to supply the ethanol market.
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    Finally, many ethanol producers increased their production capacities through expansion projects which started becoming operational during our 2018 fiscal year. These expansion projects have increased the supply of ethanol in the market and negatively impacted market ethanol prices and may result in excess ethanol supply in the future. During our 2019 fiscal year, many ethanol producers reduced production or ceased production altogether due to unfavorable operating margins which somewhat offset the additional ethanol production from these expansion projects. During 2020, the ethanol industry was impacted by decreased gasoline and ethanol demand because of social distancing restrictions implemented because of the COVID-19 pandemic. During our 2021 fiscal year, ethanol demand increased and we experienced much more favorable financial margins.

Distillers Grains Competition

    Our ethanol plant competes with other ethanol producers in the production and sales of distillers grains. Distillers grains are primarily used as an animal feed which replaces corn and soybean meal. As a result, we believe that distillers grains prices are positively impacted by increases in corn and soybean prices. In addition, in recent years the United States ethanol industry has increased exports of distillers grains which management believes has positively impacted demand and prices for distillers grains in the United States. In the event these distillers grains exports decrease, it could lead to an oversupply of distillers grains in the United States which could result in increased competition among ethanol producers for sales of distillers grains and could negatively impact distillers grains prices in the United States.

Corn Oil Competition

    We compete with many ethanol producers for the sale of corn oil. Many ethanol producers have installed the equipment necessary to separate corn oil from the distillers grains they produce which has increased competition for corn oil sales and has resulted in lower market corn oil prices.

Governmental Regulation and Federal Ethanol Supports

Federal Ethanol Supports

    The ethanol industry is dependent on the ethanol use requirement in the Federal Renewable Fuels Standard (the "RFS"). The RFS requires that in each year, a certain amount of renewable fuels must be used in the United States. The RFS is a national program that does not require that any renewable fuels be used in any particular area or state, allowing refiners to use renewable fuel blends in those areas where it is most cost-effective. The RFS statutory volume requirement increases incrementally each year until the United States is required to use 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022. Starting in 2009, the RFS required that a portion of the RFS must be met by certain "advanced" renewable fuels. These advanced renewable fuels include ethanol that is not made from corn, such as cellulosic ethanol and biomass based biodiesel. The use of these advanced renewable fuels increases each year as a percentage of the total renewable fuels required to be used in the United States.

    The EPA has the authority to waive the RFS statutory volume requirement, in whole or in part, provided one of the following two conditions have been met: (1) there is inadequate domestic renewable fuel supply; or (2) implementation of the requirement would severely harm the economy or environment of a state, region or the United States. Annually, the EPA is required to pass a rule that establishes the number of gallons of different types of renewable fuels that must be used in the United States which is called the renewable volume obligations ("RVO").

    The statutory RVO for all renewable fuels for 2018 was 19.29 billion gallons, of which corn-based ethanol could meet 15 billion gallons of the RVO. On November 30, 2018, the final RVO for 2019 was set at 19.92 billion gallons and the corn-based ethanol RVO was set at 15 billion gallons. On December 19, 2019, the final RVO for 2020 was set at 20.09 billion gallons and the corn-based ethanol RVO was set at 15 billion gallons. However, on December 7, 2021, the EPA issued a proposed RVO rule which set the 2022 RVO at 15 billion gallons for corn-based ethanol, set the 2021 RVO for corn-based ethanol at 13.3 billion gallons, less than the statutory requirement in the RFS of 15 billion gallons. The December 7, 2021 proposed rule also proposes to reopen the 2020 RVO which was previously set at 15 billion gallons for corn-based ethanol and retroactively reduce that amount to 12.5 billion gallons.

During 2019 it came to light that the EPA was issuing waivers of the RVO obligations for certain small refineries. These small refinery waivers resulted in significant decreases in ethanol demand during 2018 and 2019 which are below the RVO requirements. Many in the ethanol industry believe these waivers did not meet the standards set out in the RFS. The ethanol industry has been pushing the EPA to reverse the effects of these small refinery waivers which we believe contributed
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to poor operating margins starting in 2018 and continuing through our 2020 fiscal year. In January 2020, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that small refinery exemptions may only be granted to refineries that had secured them continuously each year since 2010. Consistent with this ruling, in September 2020, the EPA denied certain small refinery exemption petitions filed by oil refineries in 2020 seeking retroactive relief from their ethanol use requirements for prior years.

    Most ethanol that is used in the United States is sold in a blend called E10. E10 is a blend of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline. E10 is approved for use in all standard vehicles. Estimates indicate that gasoline demand in the United States in most years is approximately 143 billion gallons per year. Gasoline demand was lower in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Assuming that all gasoline in the United States is blended at a rate of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline, the maximum domestic demand for ethanol is approximately 14.3 billion gallons per year. This is commonly referred to as the "blend wall," which represents a theoretical limit where more ethanol cannot be blended into the national gasoline pool. This is a theoretical limit because it would not be possible to blend ethanol into every gallon of gasoline that is being used in the United States and it discounts the use of higher percentage blends such as E15 or E85. These higher percentage blends may lead to additional ethanol demand if they become more widely available and accepted by the market.

    Many in the ethanol industry believe that it will be impossible to meet the RFS requirement in future years without an increase in the percentage of ethanol that can be blended with gasoline for use in standard (non-flex fuel) vehicles. The EPA has approved the use of E15, gasoline which is blended at a rate of 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline, in vehicles manufactured in the model year 2001 and later. However, there are still state hurdles that need to be addressed in some states before E15 will become more widely available. Many states still have regulatory issues that prevent the sale of E15. Sales of E15 may be limited because it is not approved for use in all vehicles, the EPA requires a label that management believes may discourage consumers from using E15, and retailers may choose not to sell E15 due to concerns regarding liability.

In May 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture ("USDA") announced the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program which consists of up to $100 million in funding for grants to be used to increase the availability of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel fuels. Funds may be awarded to retailers such as fueling stations and convenience stores to assist in the cost of installation or upgrading of fuel pumps and other infrastructure. In October 2020, the USDA announced the first round of awards to recipients of $22 million worth of grants. In August 2021, the USDA announced an additional $26 million in infrastructure grants, bringing the total grants under the program to a total of $66.4 million.

Effect of Governmental Regulation

The government's regulation of the environment changes constantly. We are subject to extensive air, water and other environmental regulations and we have been required to obtain a number of environmental permits to construct and operate the ethanol plant. It is possible that more stringent federal or state environmental rules or regulations could be adopted, which could increase our operating costs and expenses. It also is possible that federal or state environmental rules or regulations could be adopted that could have an adverse effect on the use of ethanol. Plant operations are governed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA"). OSHA regulations may change such that the costs of operating the ethanol plant may increase. Any of these regulatory factors may result in higher costs or other adverse conditions effecting our operations, cash flows and financial performance.

We have obtained all of the necessary permits to operate the ethanol plant. During our 2021 fiscal year, we incurred costs and expenses of approximately $31,000 complying with environmental laws, including the cost of obtaining permits. Although we have been successful in obtaining all of the permits currently required, any retroactive change in environmental regulations, either at the federal or state level, could require us to obtain additional or new permits or spend considerable resources in complying with such regulations. Management believes converting the plant to use natural gas as the fuel source instead of coal has reduced our environmental compliance costs.

    In late 2009, California passed a Low Carbon Fuels Standard ("LCFS"). The California LCFS requires that renewable fuels used in California must accomplish certain reductions in greenhouse gases which is measured using a lifecycle analysis, similar to the RFS. The LCFS could have a negative impact on demand for corn-based ethanol and result in decreased ethanol prices affecting our ability to operate profitably.

    In August 2017, Brazil instituted an import quota for ethanol produced in the United States and exported to Brazil, along with a 20% tariff on ethanol imports in excess of the quota. In September 2019, the Brazilians increased the tariff free import quota from 600 million liters to 750 million liters. In December 2020, the tariff free quota was revoked and all U.S. ethanol now faces a 20% tariff when imported into Brazil. This tariff and quota have reduced exports of ethanol to Brazil and may continue to negatively impact ethanol exports from the United States. Any reduction in ethanol exports could negatively impact market ethanol prices in the United States. In addition, the Chinese government increased the tariff on United States
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ethanol imports into China from 30% to 45% and subsequently to 70%. Due to other recent tariff activity between the United States and China, management does not expect these Chinese tariffs to be removed in the near term, despite recent positive discussions. Both China and Brazil have been major sources of import demand for United States ethanol and distillers grains. These trade actions may result in negative operating margins for United States ethanol producers.
    
Employees

As of December 17, 2021, we had 46 full-time employees. We anticipate that we will have approximately 47 full-time employees during the next 12 months.

Item 1A. Risk Factors

    You should carefully read and consider the risks and uncertainties below and the other information contained in this report.  The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones we may face.  The following risks, together with additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial could impair our financial condition and results of operation.

Risks Relating to Our Business

We are subject to global and regional economic downturns and related risks and the effects of COVID-19 or another pandemic may materially and adversely affect demand and the market price for our products. The level of demand for our products is affected by global and regional demographic and macroeconomic conditions. A significant downturn in global economic growth, or recessionary conditions in major geographic regions for prolonged periods, may lead to reduced demand for our products, which could have a negative effect on the market price of our products. In December 2019, a novel coronavirus surfaced in Wuhan, China (“COVID-19”). The spread of COVID-19 worldwide has resulted in businesses suspending or substantially curtailing global operations and travel, quarantines, and an overall substantial slowdown of economic activity. Transportation fuels in particular, including ethanol, experienced significant price declines and reduced demand. The effects of COVID-19 have and may continue to materially and adversely affect the market price for our products, our business, results of operations and liquidity.

COVID-19 or another pandemic may negatively impact our ability to operate our business which could decrease or eliminate the value of our units. COVID-19 has resulted in significant uncertainty in many areas of our business. We do not know how long these conditions will last. This uncertainty is expected to negatively impact our operations. We may experience labor shortages if our employees are unable or unwilling to come to work. If our suppliers cannot deliver the supplies we need to operate our business or if we are unable to ship our products due to trucking or rail shipping disruptions, we may be forced to suspend operations or reduce production. If we are unable to operate the ethanol plant at capacity, it may result in unfavorable operating results. Any shut down of operations or reduction in production, especially for an extended period of time, could reduce or eliminate the value of our units.

    The EPA has issued small refinery waivers to the RFS requirement which has resulted in demand destruction and negatively impacted profitability in the ethanol industry. During 2019, the ethanol industry learned that the EPA has been issuing small refinery waivers to the ethanol use requirements in the RFS. In previous years, when the EPA issued small refinery waivers, it reallocated the waived requirements to other refiners. The EPA under the Trump Administration was granting significantly more waivers than in the past and was not reallocating the waived amounts to other refiners. These actions have resulted in demand destruction starting in 2018 which has continued to result in reduced demand for ethanol. This reduction in ethanol demand has negatively impacted profitability in the ethanol industry. These small refinery waivers could be issued in future years which could impact ethanol demand.

    A decrease in the spread between the price we receive for our products and our raw material costs will negatively impact our profitability. Practically all of our revenue is derived from the sale of our ethanol, distillers grains and corn oil. Our primary raw material costs are corn costs and energy costs. Our profitability depends on a positive spread between the market price of the ethanol, distillers grains and corn oil we produce and the raw material costs related to these products. While ethanol, distillers grains and corn oil prices typically change in relation to corn prices, this correlation may not always exist. In the event the prices for our products decrease at a time when our raw material costs are increasing, we may not be able to profitably operate the plant. In the event the spread between the price we receive for our products and the raw material costs associated with producing those products is negative for an extended period of time, we may not be able to maintain liquidity and we may fail which could negatively impact the value of our units.

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    Declines in the price of ethanol, distillers grain or corn oil would significantly reduce our revenues. The sales prices of ethanol, distillers grains and corn oil can be volatile as a result of a number of factors such as overall supply and demand, the price of gasoline and corn, levels of government support, tariffs and import quotas, and the availability and price of competing products. We are dependent on a favorable spread between the price we receive for our ethanol, distillers grains and corn oil and the price we pay for corn and natural gas. Any lowering of ethanol, distillers grains or corn oil prices, especially if it is associated with increases in corn and natural gas prices, may affect our ability to operate profitably. We anticipate the price of our products to continue to be volatile in our 2022 fiscal year as a result of the net effect of changes in the price of gasoline and corn and increased ethanol supply offset by changes in ethanol demand. Declines in the prices we receive for our products will lead to decreased revenues and may result in our inability to operate the ethanol plant profitably for an extended period of time which could decrease the value of our units.

    Decreasing gasoline prices could negatively impact our ability to operate profitably. Discretionary blending is an important secondary market which is often determined by the price of ethanol versus the price of gasoline. In periods when discretionary blending is financially unattractive, demand for ethanol may be reduced. Historically, the price of ethanol has been less than the price of gasoline which increased demand for ethanol from fuel blenders. In recent years, low oil prices reduced the price of gasoline which reduced the spread between the price of gasoline and the price of ethanol which discouraged discretionary blending, and resulted in a downward market adjustment in the price of ethanol. If oil and gasoline prices remain lower for a significant period of time, it could hurt our ability to profitably operate the ethanol plant which could decrease the value of our units.

    Increases in the price of corn or natural gas would reduce our profitability. Our primary source of revenue is from the sale of ethanol, distillers grains and corn oil. Our results of operations and financial condition are significantly affected by the cost and supply of corn and natural gas. Changes in the price and supply of corn and natural gas are subject to and determined by market forces over which we have no control including weather and general economic factors.

    Ethanol production requires substantial amounts of corn. Generally, higher corn prices will produce lower profit margins and, therefore, negatively affect our financial performance. If a period of high corn prices were to be sustained for some time, such pricing may reduce our ability to operate profitably because of the higher cost of operating our plant. We may not be able to offset any increase in the price of corn by increasing the price of our products. If we cannot offset increases in the price of corn, our financial performance may be negatively affected.

    The prices for and availability of natural gas are subject to volatile market conditions. These market conditions often are affected by factors beyond our control such as higher prices as a result of colder than average weather conditions or natural disasters, overall economic conditions and foreign and domestic governmental regulations and relations. Significant disruptions in the supply of natural gas could impair our ability to manufacture ethanol and more significantly, distillers grains for our customers. Furthermore, increases in natural gas prices or changes in our natural gas costs relative to natural gas costs paid by competitors may adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

    Our business is not diversified which could negatively impact our ability to operate profitably. Our success depends largely on our ability to profitably operate our ethanol plant. We do not have any other lines of business or other sources of revenue if we are unable to operate our ethanol plant and manufacture ethanol, distillers grains and corn oil. If economic or political factors adversely affect the market for ethanol, distillers grains or corn oil, we have no other line of business to fall back on. Our business would also be significantly harmed if the ethanol plant could not operate at full capacity for any extended period of time.

    Our inability to maintain or secure credit facilities we may require in the future may negatively impact our liquidity. While we do not currently require more financing than we have, in the future we may need additional financing. If we require financing in the future and we are unable to secure such financing, or we are unable to secure the financing we require on reasonable terms, it may have a negative impact on our liquidity. This could negatively impact the value of our units.

We engage in hedging transactions which involve risks that could harm our business.  We are exposed to market risk from changes in commodity prices, including the prices we pay for our raw materials and the prices we receive for our finished products. We seek to minimize our exposure to fluctuations in the prices of corn, ethanol and distillers grains through the use of hedging instruments. However, our hedging activities may not successfully reduce the risk caused by price fluctuations which may leave us vulnerable to volatility in corn, ethanol and distillers grains prices. Alternatively, we may choose not to engage in hedging transactions in the future and our operations and financial conditions may be adversely affected during periods in which the prices for these commodities fluctuate. Further, using cash for margin calls to support our hedge positions can have an impact on the cash we have available for our operations which could negatively impact our
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liquidity. The effects of our hedging activities may negatively impact our ability to profitably operate which could reduce the value of our units.

    We may violate the terms of our credit agreements and financial covenants which could result in our lender demanding immediate repayment of our loans. Management anticipates that we will be in compliance with our loan covenants in our Cornerstone loans. However, if we violate the terms of our credit agreement, Cornerstone could deem us in default of our loans and require us to immediately repay any outstanding balance of our loans. If we do not have sufficient cash to repay these loans or if we are unable to secure other sources of financing, it could negatively impact the value of our units.

Changes and advances in ethanol production technology could require us to incur costs to update the ethanol plant or could otherwise hinder our ability to compete in the ethanol industry or operate profitably.  Advances and changes in the technology of ethanol production are expected to occur.  Such advances and changes may make the ethanol production technology installed in our ethanol plant less desirable or obsolete.  These advances could allow our competitors to produce ethanol at a lower cost than us.  If we are unable to adopt or incorporate technological advances, our ethanol production methods and processes could be less efficient than our competitors, which could cause the ethanol plant to become uncompetitive or completely obsolete.  If our competitors develop, obtain or license technology that is superior to ours or that makes our technology obsolete, we may be required to incur significant costs to enhance or acquire new technology so that our ethanol production remains competitive.  Alternatively, we may be required to seek third-party licenses, which could also result in significant expenditures.  These third-party licenses may not be available or, once obtained, they may not continue to be available on commercially reasonable terms.  These costs could negatively impact our financial performance by increasing our operating costs and reducing our net income which could decrease the value of our units.

    We depend on our management and key employees, and the loss of these relationships could negatively impact our ability to operate profitably. We are highly dependent on our management team to operate our ethanol plant. We may not be able to replace these individuals should they decide to cease their employment with us, or if they become unavailable for any other reason. While we seek to compensate our management and key employees in a manner that will encourage them to continue their employment with us, they may choose to seek other employment. Any loss of these officers and key employees may prevent us from operating the ethanol plant profitably and could decrease the value of our units.

    Failures of our information technology infrastructure could have a material adverse effect on operations. We utilize various software applications and other information technology that are critically important to our business operations. We rely on information technology networks and systems, including the Internet, to process, transmit and store electronic and financial information, to manage a variety of business processes and activities, including production, manufacturing, financial, logistics, sales, marketing and administrative functions. We depend on our information technology infrastructure to communicate internally and externally with employees, customers, suppliers and others. We also use information technology networks and systems to comply with regulatory, legal and tax requirements. These information technology systems, some of which are managed by third parties, may be susceptible to damage, disruptions or shutdowns due to failures during the process of upgrading or replacing software, databases or components thereof, power outages, hardware failures, computer viruses, attacks by computer hackers or other cybersecurity risks, telecommunication failures, user errors, natural disasters, terrorist attacks or other catastrophic events. If any of our significant information technology systems suffer severe damage, disruption or shutdown, and our disaster recovery and business continuity plans do not effectively resolve the issues in a timely manner, our product sales, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

    A cyber attack or other information security breach could have a material adverse effect on our operations and result in financial losses. We are regularly the target of attempted cyber and other security threats and must continuously monitor and develop our information technology networks and infrastructure to prevent, detect, address and mitigate the risk of unauthorized access, misuse, computer viruses and other events that could have a security impact. If we are unable to prevent cyber attacks and other information security breaches, we may encounter significant disruptions in our operations which could adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations or result in the unauthorized disclosure of confidential information. Such breaches may also harm our reputation, result in financial losses or subject us to litigation or other costs or penalties.

Adverse weather conditions, including as a result of climate change, may adversely affect the availability, quality and price of agricultural commodities and agricultural commodity products, as well as our operations and operating results. Adverse weather conditions have historically caused volatility in the agricultural commodity industry and consequently in our operating results by causing crop failures or significantly reduced harvests, which may affect the supply and pricing of the agricultural commodities that we sell and use in our business, reduce demand for our fertilizer products and negatively affect the creditworthiness of agricultural producers who do business with us. Higher basis levels or adverse crop conditions in our corn purchase area can increase the input costs or lower the market value of our products relative to other market participants
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that do not have the same geographic concentration. Additionally, the potential physical impacts of climate change are uncertain and may vary by region. These potential effects could include changes in rainfall patterns, water shortages, changing sea levels, changing storm patterns and intensities, and changing temperature levels that could adversely impact our costs and business operations, the location, costs and competitiveness of agricultural commodity production and related storage and processing facilities and the supply and demand for agricultural commodities. These effects could be material to our results of operations, liquidity or capital resources and could reduce the value of our units.

Investor sentiment towards climate change, fossil fuels, and other ESG matters could adversely affect our business, cost of capital, and the price of our stock and other securities. There have been efforts in recent years, which have intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic, aimed at the investment community, to promote the divestment of securities of energy companies, as well as to pressure lenders and other financial services companies to limit or curtail activities with energy companies. As a result, some financial intermediaries, investors, and other capital markets participants have reduced or ceased lending to, or investing in, companies that operate in industries with higher perceived environmental exposure, such as the energy industry. If this or similar divestment efforts are continued, the value of our units may be negatively impacted.

Members of the investment community are also increasing their focus on ESG practices and disclosures, including practices and disclosures related to GHGs and climate change in the energy industry in particular, and diversity and inclusion initiatives and governance standards among companies more generally. As a result, we may face increasing pressure regarding our ESG practices and disclosures. Additionally, members of the investment community may screen companies such as ours for ESG performance. If we are unable to meet the ESG standards or investment or lending criteria set by these investors and funds, we may lose investors, investors may allocate a portion of their capital away from us, our cost of capital may increase, the price of our units may be negatively impacted, and our reputation may also be negatively affected.

Risks Related to the Ethanol Industry

The ethanol industry is an industry that is changing rapidly which can result in unexpected developments that could negatively impact our operations and the value of our units. The ethanol industry has grown significantly in the last decade. This rapid growth has resulted in significant shifts in supply and demand of ethanol over a very short period of time. As a result, past performance by the ethanol plant or the ethanol industry generally might not be indicative of future performance. We may experience a rapid shift in the economic conditions in the ethanol industry which may make it difficult to operate the ethanol plant profitably. If changes occur in the ethanol industry that make it difficult for us to operate the ethanol plant profitably, it could result in a reduction in the value of our units.

Increased competition from electric vehicles could reduce demand for liquid fuels which could negatively impact demand for ethanol which could negatively impact our profitability. Electric car technology has improved significantly in recent years and many automakers are focusing on electric car technology for automobiles they are releasing or plan to release in the future. Increased reliance on electric vehicle technology is expected to result in decreased gasoline demand. Recently, governments and private entities have focused on improving and expanding vehicle recharging stations which may make electric automobiles more attractive in the market. As gasoline powered vehicles become a smaller part of the worldwide vehicle fleet, it is expected to have a negative impact on gasoline demand which will also impact ethanol demand. This shift in demand could negatively impact our financial performance and could reduce or eliminate the value of our units.

Excess ethanol supply in the market could put negative pressure on the price of ethanol which could lead to tight operating margins and may impact our ability to operate profitably. In the past the ethanol industry has confronted market conditions where ethanol supply exceeded demand which led to unfavorable operating conditions. A disconnect between ethanol supply and demand can result in lower ethanol prices which can result in unfavorable operating conditions. The United States has recently benefited from additional exports of ethanol which may not continue to occur during our 2022 fiscal year. We may experience periods of ethanol supply and demand imbalance during our 2022 fiscal year, particularly if the EPA issues additional small refinery waivers from the RFS. If we experience excess ethanol supply, either due to increased ethanol production, lower ethanol demand or lower overall gasoline demand, it could negatively impact the price of ethanol which could hurt our ability to profitably operate the ethanol plant.

    Distillers grains demand and prices have been negatively impacted by the Chinese anti-dumping duty. China was previously the world's largest importer of distillers grains produced in the United States. On January 12, 2016, the Chinese government announced that it would commence an anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigation related to distillers grains imported from the United States. On January 10, 2017, China announced a final ruling related to its anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigation imposing anti-dumping duties from a range of 42.2% to 53.7% and anti-subsidy duties from 11.2% to 12.0%. The imposition of these duties has resulted in a significant decline in demand from this top importer and negatively impacted prices for distillers grains produced in the United States. Due to recent trade disputes between the United
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States and China we expect these tariffs to continue into our 2022 fiscal year. This reduction in demand has negatively impacted our profitability.

    Demand for ethanol may not continue to grow unless ethanol can be blended into gasoline in higher percentage blends for standard vehicles.  Currently, ethanol is primarily blended with gasoline for use in standard (non-flex fuel) vehicles to create a blend which is 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline.  Estimates indicate that approximately 143 billion gallons of gasoline are sold in the United States each year.  Assuming that all gasoline in the United States is blended at a rate of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline, the maximum domestic demand for ethanol is 14.3 billion gallons. This is commonly referred to as the "blend wall," which represents a theoretical limit where more ethanol cannot be blended into the national gasoline pool.  Many in the ethanol industry believe that the ethanol industry has reached and surpassed this blend wall.  In order to expand demand for ethanol, higher percentage blends of ethanol must be utilized in standard vehicles.  Such higher percentage blends of ethanol are a contentious issue.  Automobile manufacturers and environmental groups have fought against higher percentage ethanol blends. The EPA approved the use of E15 for standard vehicles produced in the model year 2001 and later. The fact that E15 has not been approved for use in all vehicles and the labeling requirements associated with E15 may lead to gasoline retailers refusing to carry E15.  Without an increase in the allowable percentage blends of ethanol that can be used in all vehicles, demand for ethanol may not continue to increase which could decrease the selling price of ethanol and could result in our inability to operate the ethanol plant profitably which could reduce or eliminate the value of our units.

    A reduction in ethanol exports to Brazil due to the imposition by the Brazilian government of a tariff on U.S. ethanol has and could continue to have a negative impact on ethanol prices. Brazil has historically been a top destination for ethanol produced in the United States. However, in 2017, Brazil imposed a tariff on ethanol which is produced in the United States and exported to Brazil. This tariff has resulted in a decline in demand for ethanol from Brazil and could negatively impact the market price of ethanol in the United States and could negatively impact our ability to profitably operate the ethanol plant.

    Chinese ethanol tariffs has and could continue to have a negative impact on ethanol prices. As a result of trade disputes between the United States and China, China imposed a 70% tariff on ethanol produced in the United States. This tariff has effectively closed the Chinese market for United States ethanol exports. China represents a significant potential source of demand for ethanol. Without access to the Chinese market, we may experience excess ethanol supply which could negatively impact ethanol prices in the United States. Lower ethanol prices could negatively impact our ability to profitably operate the ethanol plant.

We operate in an intensely competitive industry and compete with larger, better financed entities which could impact our ability to operate profitably.  There is significant competition among ethanol producers. There are numerous producer-owned and privately-owned ethanol plants operating throughout the Midwest and elsewhere in the United States.  We also face competition from outside of the United States. The largest ethanol producers include Archer Daniels Midland, Green Plains Renewable Energy, POET, and Valero Renewable Fuels, each of which is capable of producing significantly more ethanol than we produce. Further, many believe that there will be further consolidation occurring in the ethanol industry in the future which could lead to a few companies which control a significant portion of the United States ethanol production market. We may not be able to compete with these larger entities. These larger ethanol producers may be able to affect the ethanol market in ways that are not beneficial to us which could negatively impact our financial performance. 

Technology advances in the commercialization of cellulosic ethanol may decrease demand for corn-based ethanol which may negatively affect our profitability.  The current trend in ethanol production research is to develop an efficient method of producing ethanol from cellulose-based biomass, such as agricultural waste, forest residue, municipal solid waste, and energy crops. This trend is driven by the fact that cellulose-based biomass is generally cheaper than corn, and producing ethanol from cellulose-based biomass would create opportunities to produce ethanol in areas of the country which are unable to grow corn.  The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and the 2008 Farm Bill offer strong incentives to develop commercial scale cellulosic ethanol.  The RFS requires that 16 billion gallons per year of advanced bio-fuels must be consumed in the United States by 2022.  Additionally, state and federal grants have been awarded to several companies which are seeking to develop commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants.  This has encouraged innovation and has led to several companies which are either in the process or have completed construction of commercial scale cellulosic ethanol plants. If an efficient method of producing ethanol from cellulose-based biomass is developed, we may not be able to compete effectively. If we are unable to produce ethanol as cost-effectively as cellulose-based producers, our ability to generate revenue and our financial condition will be negatively impacted.


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Risks Related to Regulation and Governmental Action

    Government incentives for ethanol production may be eliminated in the future, which could hinder our ability to operate at a profit. The ethanol industry is assisted by various federal ethanol production and tax incentives, including the RFS set forth in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The RFS helps support a market for ethanol that might disappear without this incentive. The United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") has the authority to waive the RFS statutory volume requirement, in whole or in part, provided certain conditions have been met. Annually, the EPA passes a rule that establishes the number of gallons of different types of renewable fuels that must be used in the United States which is called the renewable volume obligations. In the past, the EPA has set the renewable volume obligations below the statutory volume requirements. In addition, the EPA has recently expanded its use of waivers to small refineries. The effect of these waivers is that the refinery is no longer required to earn or purchase blending credits, known as RINs, negatively affecting ethanol demand and resulting in lower ethanol prices. If the EPA were to significantly reduce the volume requirements under the RFS or if the RFS were to be otherwise reduced or eliminated by the exercise of the EPA waiver authority or by Congress, the market price and demand for ethanol could decrease which will negatively impact our financial performance.

    Changes in environmental regulations or violations of these regulations could be expensive and reduce our profitability. We are subject to extensive air, water and other environmental laws and regulations. In addition, some of these laws require our plant to operate under a number of environmental permits. These laws, regulations and permits can often require expensive pollution control equipment or operational changes to limit actual or potential impacts to the environment. A violation of these laws and regulations or permit conditions can result in substantial fines, damages, criminal sanctions, permit revocations and/or plant shutdowns. In the future, we may be subject to legal actions brought by environmental advocacy groups and other parties for actual or alleged violations of environmental laws or our permits. Additionally, any changes in environmental laws and regulations, both at the federal and state level, could require us to spend considerable resources in order to comply with future environmental regulations. The expense of compliance could be significant enough to reduce our profitability and negatively affect our financial condition.

    The California Low Carbon Fuel Standard may decrease demand for corn based ethanol which could negatively impact our profitability. California passed a Low Carbon Fuels Standard ("LCFS") which requires that renewable fuels used in California must accomplish certain reductions in greenhouse gases which reductions are measured using a lifecycle analysis. Management believes that these regulations could preclude corn-based ethanol produced in the Midwest from being used in California. California represents a significant ethanol demand market. If the ethanol industry is unable to supply corn-based ethanol to California, it could significantly reduce demand for the ethanol we produce which could result in a reduction of our revenues and negatively impact our ability to profitably operate the ethanol plant.

    Government policies and regulations, particularly those affecting the agricultural sector and related industries, could adversely affect our operations and profitability.  Agricultural commodity production and trade flows are significantly affected by government policies and regulations.  Governmental policies affecting the agricultural industry, such as taxes, trade tariffs, duties, subsidies, import and export restrictions on commodities and commodity products, can influence industry profitability, the planting of certain crops, the location and size of crop production, whether unprocessed or processed commodity products are traded, and the volume and types of imports and exports.  In addition, international trade disputes can adversely affect trade flows by limiting or disrupting trade between countries or regions. Future governmental policies, regulations or actions affecting our industry may adversely affect the supply of, demand for and prices of our products, restrict our ability to do business and cause our financial results to suffer. We have experienced and may continue to experience negative impacts of higher ethanol tariffs and other disruptions to international agricultural trade related to certain trade actions and responsive actions announced by trading partners, including by China. In April of 2018, the Chinese government increased the tariff on U.S. ethanol imports into China from 30% to 45% and ultimately to 70%.  This tariff increase has had a negative impact on overall U.S. ethanol export demand, which could have a negative effect on U.S. domestic ethanol prices.

New, stricter environmental laws and other industry-related regulations or environmental litigation could significantly impact our operations and/or increase our costs, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. Our operations are subject to federal, state and municipal laws and regulations regulating environmental matters. The trend in environmental regulation has been towards more restrictions and limitations on activities that may affect the environment over time. For example, President Biden signed an executive order calling for new or more stringent emissions standards. Our businesses may be adversely affected by increased costs and liabilities resulting from such stricter laws and regulations. We try to anticipate future regulatory requirements that might be imposed and plan accordingly to remain in compliance with changing environmental laws and regulations and to minimize the costs of such compliance. Risks related to our environmental permits, including the risk of noncompliance, permit interpretation, permit modification, renewal of permits on less favorable terms, judicial or administrative challenges to permits by citizens groups or federal, state or municipal entities or permit revocation are inherent in the operation of our businesses as it is with other companies engaged in similar businesses.
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We may not be able to renew the permits necessary for our operations, or we may be forced to accept terms in future permits that limit our operations or result in additional compliance costs. There can be no assurances as to the timing and type of such changes in existing laws or the promulgation of new laws or the amount of any required expenditures associated therewith. Climate change continues to attract considerable public and scientific attention. In recent years environmental interest groups have filed suit against companies in the energy industry related to climate change. Should such suits succeed, we could face additional compliance costs or litigation risks.

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

    Our ethanol plant is located just east of the city limits of Richardton, North Dakota, and just north and east of the entrance/exit ramps to Interstate I-94. The plant complex is situated inside a footprint of approximately 25 acres of land which is part of an approximately 135 acre parcel.  We acquired ownership of the land in 2004 and 2005. Included in the immediate campus area of the plant are perimeter roads, buildings, tanks and equipment. An administrative building and parking area are located approximately 400 feet from the plant complex.  During 2008, we purchased an additional 10 acre parcel of land that is adjacent to our current property.  Our rail unloading facility and storage site was built on this property. During our 2012 fiscal year, we purchased an additional approximately 110 acres of land that is adjacent to our current property. During our 2017 fiscal year, we purchased approximately 338 acres of land which we use as part of our rail yard allowing us to ship larger trains.
 
    The site also contains improvements such as rail tracks and a rail spur, landscaping, drainage systems and paved access roads.  The ethanol plant was placed in service in January 2007 and is in excellent condition and is capable of functioning in excess of its 50 million gallon name-plate production capacity.

During our 2021 fiscal year, all of our tangible and intangible property, real and personal, served as the collateral for our senior credit facility with Cornerstone Bank. Our senior credit facility is discussed in more detail under "ITEM 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis - Capital Resources."

ITEM 3.    LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

    From time to time in the ordinary course of business, we may be named as a defendant in legal proceedings related to various issues, including without limitation, workers' compensation claims, tort claims, or contractual disputes. We are not currently involved in any material legal proceedings.

ITEM 4.    MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

    None.

PART II

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT'S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED MEMBER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

    There is no established trading market for our membership units.  We have engaged FNC Ag Stock, LLC to create a Qualified Matching Service ("QMS") in order to facilitate trading of our units.  The QMS consists of an electronic bulletin board that provides information to prospective sellers and buyers of our units.  Please see the table below for information on the prices of units transferred in transactions completed via the QMS.  We do not become involved in any purchase or sale negotiations arising from the QMS and we take no position as to whether the average price or the price of any particular sale is an accurate measure of the value of our units.  As a limited liability company, we are required to restrict the transfers of our membership units in order to preserve our partnership tax status.  Our membership units may not be traded on any established securities market or readily traded on a secondary market (or the substantial equivalent thereof).  All transfers are subject to a determination that the transfer will not cause the Company to be deemed a publicly traded partnership.

    We have no role in effecting the transactions beyond approval, as required under our Operating Agreement and the issuance of new certificates.  So long as we remain a publicly reporting company, information about us will be publicly available through the SEC's EDGAR filing system.  However, if at any time we cease to be a publicly reporting company, we may continue to make information about us publicly available on our website.

    As of December 17, 2021, there were 926 holders of record of our Class A membership units.

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The following table contains historical information by quarter for the past two years regarding the actual unit transactions that were completed by our unit-holders during the periods specified. The information was compiled by reviewing the completed unit transfers that occurred on the QMS bulletin board or through private transfers during the quarters indicated.
QuarterLow PriceHigh PriceAverage Price# of
Units Traded
2020 1st
$1.03 $1.05 $1.04 80,000 
2020 2nd
$0.85 $1.00 $0.90 140,000 
2020 3rd
$0.90 $0.95 $0.95 43,000 
2020 4th
$0.95 $0.95 $0.95 20,000 
2021 1st
$0.95 $0.99 $0.97 45,000 
2021 2nd
$0.93 $0.93 $0.93 10,000 
2021 3rd
$0.93 $1.00 $0.95 366,000 
2021 4th
$1.03 $1.34 $1.20 50,000 

Distributions

    Our board of governors has complete discretion over the timing and amount of distributions to our members. Our expectations with respect to our ability to make future distributions are discussed in greater detail in "Item 7 - Management Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations."

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

None.

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

None.

PERFORMANCE GRAPH

    The graph below matches the cumulative 5-Year total return of holders of Red Trail Energy, LLC's common membership units with the cumulative total returns of the NASDAQ Composite index and a customized peer group of eighteen companies that includes: Aemetis Inc., Amyris Inc., Benchmark Energy Corp, Celanese Corp, Cleantech Biofuels Inc., Data443 Risk Mitigation Inc., Glyeco Inc., Green Plains Inc., Greenbelt Resources Corp, Methes Energies International Ltd, New America Energy Corp, Newmarket Corp, Pacific Ethanol Inc., Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc., Renewable Energy Group Inc., Rex American Resources Corp, Sino United Worldwide Consolidated Ltd and Westlake Chemical Partners LP. The graph assumes that the value of the investment in our common membership units, in each index, and in the peer group (including reinvestment of dividends) was $100 on September 30, 2016 and tracks it through September 30, 2021.
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rte-20210930_g1.jpg

    Pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the performance graph and the information set forth therein shall not be deemed to be filed for purposes of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference in any filing under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Exchange Act, except as shall be expressly set forth by specific reference in such a filing.

ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

Reserved.

ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Results of Operations for the Years Ended September 30, 2021 and 2020
 
    The following table shows the results of our operations and the percentages of revenues, cost of goods sold, general and administrative expenses and other items to total revenues in our statements of operations for the years ended September 30, 2021 and 2020:
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 Year Ended
September 30, 2021
Year Ended
September 30, 2020
Statement of Operations DataAmount%Amount%
Revenues$119,084,611 100.00 $94,175,793 100.00 
Cost of Goods Sold104,115,501 87.43 90,134,689 95.71 
Gross Profit14,969,110 12.57 4,041,104 4.29 
General and Administrative Expenses3,239,245 2.72 4,329,824 4.60 
Operating Income (Loss)11,729,865 9.85 (288,720)(0.31)
Other Income895,814 0.75 295,308 0.31 
Net Income$12,625,679 10.60 $6,588 0.01 
    
    The following table shows additional data regarding production and price levels for our primary inputs and products for the years ended September 30, 2021 and 2020:
Year Ended
September 30, 2021
Year Ended
September 30, 2020
Production:
  Ethanol sold (gallons)51,893,09456,510,517
  Industrial ethanol sold (gallons)1,130,347
  Dried distillers grains sold (tons)62,90491,073
  Modified distillers grains sold (tons)127,718109,691
Corn oil sold (pounds)12,472,55015,385,430
Revenues:
  Ethanol average price per gallon (net of hedging)$1.74 $1.20 
  Industrial ethanol average price per gallon— 3.27 
  Dried distillers grains average price per ton178.06 128.63 
  Modified distillers grains average price per ton78.46 59.20 
Corn oil average price per pound0.41 0.24 
Primary Inputs:
  Corn ground (bushels)17,717,130 21,346,380 
Natural gas (MMBtu)
1,261,294 1,425,450 
Costs of Primary Inputs:
  Corn average price per bushel (net of hedging)$4.46 $2.98 
Natural gas average price per MMBtu (net of hedging)2.77 2.06 
Other Costs (per gallon of ethanol sold):
  Chemical and additive costs$0.083 $0.077 
  Denaturant cost0.035 0.030 
  Electricity cost0.045 0.042 
  Direct labor cost0.080 0.067 


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Revenue

    For our 2021 fiscal year, ethanol sales comprised approximately 76.9% of our revenues, distillers grains sales comprised approximately 17.8% of our revenues and corn oil sales comprised approximately 4.4% of our revenues. For our 2020 fiscal year, ethanol sales comprised approximately 76.1% of our revenues, distillers grains sales comprised approximately 19.4% of our revenues and corn oil sales comprised approximately 4.0% of our revenues.

    Our total revenue for our 2021 fiscal year was approximately 24.4% more compared to our 2020 fiscal year, which resulted in higher net income during the 2021 period compared to the 2020 period.

    Ethanol

    The average price we received per gallon of ethanol sold was approximately 42.5% higher during our 2021 fiscal year compared to our 2020 fiscal year. Following reduced gasoline demand in 2020 due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions were lifted and gasoline demand rebounded. During 2021, ethanol stocks remained lower which resulted in increased ethanol demand and prices. In addition to the lower ethanol stocks, gasoline prices were higher during our 2021 fiscal year which positively impacted ethanol demand and prices. Our ethanol revenue during our 2020 fiscal year was supported by industrial ethanol sales. We did not have any industrial ethanol sales during our 2021 fiscal year.

    We sold approximately 7.3% fewer gallons of ethanol during our 2021 fiscal year compared our 2020 fiscal year as we worked to maximize the amount of ethanol we produced per bushel of corn we ground along with longer plant shutdowns which impacted production. Our efficiency in converting corn to ethanol increased significantly during our 2021 fiscal year which positively impacted our profitability. This improved efficiency was important during our 2021 fiscal year due to the fact that our average cost per bushel of corn ground was higher during our 2021 fiscal year compared to our 2020 fiscal year.

    We experienced a gain of approximately $1,488,000 related to our ethanol derivative instruments during our 2021 fiscal year which increased our revenue. We experienced a gain of approximately $383,000 related to our ethanol derivative instruments during our 2020 fiscal year which increased our revenue.

    Distillers Grains

    The average price we received for our dried distillers grains during our 2021 fiscal year was approximately 38.4% greater than the average price we received during our 2020 fiscal year primarily due to higher average corn prices during our 2021 fiscal year which typically impacts distillers grains prices. The average price we received from our modified distillers grains during our 2021 fiscal year was approximately 32.5% higher compared to our 2020 fiscal year due to stronger local demand for distillers grains along with higher corn prices. Our modified distillers grains are primarily sold in our local market. Management anticipates higher distillers grains prices during our 2022 fiscal year due to continued higher corn prices. Further, the United States experienced strong distillers grains export demand during 2021 which increased domestic distillers grains prices. If export demand for distillers grains increases during our 2022 fiscal year, it could result in significantly higher distillers grains prices.

    We produced approximately 28.5% fewer tons of dried distillers grains and approximately 14.2% more tons of modified distillers grains during our 2021 fiscal year compared to our 2020 fiscal year. Our overall decreased production had a corresponding impact on distillers grains production. We produced more modified distillers grains due to strong local demand for distillers grains which favors the modified distillers grains product. In addition, we produced less corn oil per bushel of corn used during the 2021 period which resulted in more total distillers grains we produced during the 2021 fiscal year. When we produce more corn oil, it results in fewer tons of distillers grains produced. We decide whether to produce dried distillers grains versus modified/wet distillers grains based on market conditions and the relative cost of producing each form of distillers grains. Management anticipates that distillers grains production will remain at its current mix during our 2022 fiscal year unless distillers grains exports increase significantly which could favor producing more dried distillers grains.

    Corn Oil

    The average price we received for our corn oil was approximately 73.9% higher during our 2021 fiscal year compared to our 2020 fiscal year primarily due to additional corn oil demand from the biodiesel industry along with higher corn and soybean oil prices which positively impact market corn oil prices. On December 17, 2019, Congress renewed the biodiesel blenders' credit retroactively for 2019 and for a total of five years. This certainty for the biodiesel blenders' credit has positively impacted demand for corn oil during that time period which has supported market corn oil prices. If the biodiesel blenders' credit expires in the future, we anticipate that corn oil demand will be lower.
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    Our corn oil sales decreased by approximately 27.2% during our 2021 fiscal year compared to our 2020 fiscal year due to reduced overall production at the ethanol plant along with lower corn oil extraction efficiency during our 2021 fiscal year. Management anticipates that corn oil production will continue to be higher during our 2022 fiscal year.
    
Cost of Goods Sold

    Our cost of goods sold is primarily made up of corn and energy expenses. Our total cost of goods sold was approximately 10.7% higher for our 2021 fiscal year compared to our 2020 fiscal year due primarily to higher corn and natural gas costs during our 2021 fiscal year, partially offset by lower corn and natural gas consumption.

Corn Costs

Our cost of goods sold related to corn was approximately 18.8% higher during our 2021 fiscal year compared to our 2020 fiscal year due to higher average corn costs per bushel partially offset by fewer bushels of corn used during our 2021 fiscal year. Our average cost per bushel of corn used, without including our derivative instrument gains and losses, was approximately 49.7% higher during our 2021 fiscal year compared to our 2020 fiscal year. Management attributes this increase in corn costs to higher corn demand from the ethanol industry during our 2021 fiscal year along with a smaller corn crop which was harvested in the fall of 2020 which reduced corn availability. The corn crop harvested in the fall of 2021 was larger than in 2020 which may have a positive impact on corn prices during our 2022 fiscal year. Management believes that there will be sufficient corn in our local market to continue to operate the ethanol plant at capacity during our 2022 fiscal year but we may experience higher prices in order to purchase the corn we need. Our corn use decreased by approximately 17.0% during our 2021 fiscal year compared to our 2020 fiscal year due to decreased overall production at the ethanol plant. Management anticipates that we will use a comparable amount of corn in the future provided operating margins remain favorable.

From time to time we enter into forward purchase contracts for our commodity purchases and sales. At September 30, 2021, we had forward corn purchase contracts for various delivery periods through March 2022 for a total commitment of approximately $34.5 million for a total of approximately 5.7 million bushels of corn. We had a gain of approximately $1,367,000 related to our corn derivative instruments which decreased our cost of goods sold during our 2021 fiscal year. We had a loss of approximately $455,000 related to our corn derivative instruments during our 2020 fiscal year which increased our cost of goods sold. We recognize the gains or losses that result from the changes in the value of our derivative instruments from corn in cost of goods sold as the changes occur.  As corn prices fluctuate, the value of our derivative instruments is impacted, which affects our financial performance.

    Natural Gas Costs

    Our total natural gas costs to operate the ethanol plant were higher for our 2021 fiscal year compared to our 2020 fiscal year due primarily to increased natural gas costs per MMBtu during the 2021 period partially offset by decreased natural gas consumption. Our average cost per MMBtu of natural gas was approximately 34.5% higher during our 2021 fiscal year compared to our 2020 fiscal year. Management believes this increase in natural gas costs during our 2021 fiscal year was due to higher energy prices generally during our 2021 fiscal year. We used approximately 11.5% fewer MMBtu of natural gas during our 2021 fiscal year compared to our 2020 fiscal year due to reduced overall production at the ethanol plant. Management expects that natural gas prices will increase during our 2022 fiscal year due to strong energy markets and the amount of natural gas available in the market, particularly during the winter months when natural gas demand for heating needs is higher.

General and Administrative Expenses

    Our general and administrative expense was lower during our 2021 fiscal year and our 2020 fiscal year due to less labor and consulting costs during the 2021 period. During our 2020 fiscal year we had increased labor and consulting costs associated with our carbon capture and storage project which is designed to decrease the carbon intensity of our ethanol, making it more valuable in the California fuel market.

Other Income/Expense

    We had less interest income during our 2021 fiscal year compared to our 2020 fiscal year due to having less cash on hand during the 2021 period. Our other income was higher during our 2021 fiscal year compared to our 2020 fiscal year due to a gain on the sale of used equipment no longer needed for operations and the PPP loan forgiveness.
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Results of Operations for the Years Ended September 30, 2020 and 2019
 
    The following table shows the results of our operations and the percentages of revenues, cost of goods sold, general and administrative expenses and other items to total revenues in our statements of operations for the years ended September 30, 2020 and 2019:
 Year Ended
September 30, 2020
Year Ended
September 30, 2019
Statement of Operations DataAmount%Amount%
Revenues$94,175,793 100.00 $103,697,726 100.00 
Cost of Goods Sold90,134,689 95.71 104,690,474 100.96 
Gross Profit (Loss)4,041,104 4.29 (992,748)(0.96)
General and Administrative Expenses4,329,824 4.60 3,135,825 3.02 
Operating Loss(288,720)(0.31)(4,128,573)(3.98)
Other Income (Expense)295,308 0.31 385,884 0.37 
Net Profit (Loss)$6,588 0.01 $(3,742,689)(3.61)
    
    The following table shows additional data regarding production and price levels for our primary inputs and products for the years ended September 30, 2020 and 2019:
Year Ended
September 30, 2020
Year Ended
September 30, 2019
Production:
  Ethanol sold (gallons)56,510,51763,401,876
Industrial ethanol sold (gallons)1,130,347
  Dried distillers grains sold (tons)91,07398,758
  Modified distillers grains sold (tons)109,691127,310
Corn oil sold (pounds)15,385,43010,697,030
Revenues:
  Ethanol average price per gallon (net of hedging)$1.20 $1.27 
Industrial ethanol average price per gallon3.27 — 
  Dried distillers grains average price per ton128.63 135.15 
  Modified distillers grains average price per ton59.20 52.73 
Corn oil average price per pound0.24 0.23 
Primary Inputs:
  Corn ground (bushels)21,346,380 22,641,392 
Natural gas (MMBtu)
1,425,450 1,630,853 
Costs of Primary Inputs:
  Corn average price per bushel (net of hedging)$2.98 $3.56 
Natural gas average price per MMBtu (net of hedging)2.06 2.42 
Other Costs (per gallon of ethanol sold):
  Chemical and additive costs$0.077 $0.080 
  Denaturant cost0.030 0.034 
  Electricity cost0.042 0.038 
  Direct labor cost0.067 0.062 


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Revenue

    For our 2020 fiscal year, ethanol sales comprised approximately 76.1% of our revenues, distillers grains sales comprised approximately 19.4% of our revenues and corn oil sales comprised approximately 4.0% of our revenues. For our 2019 fiscal year, ethanol sales comprised approximately 77.7% of our revenues, distillers grains sales comprised approximately 19.3% of our revenues and corn oil sales comprised approximately 2.5% of our revenues.

    Our total revenue for our 2020 fiscal year was approximately 9.6% less compared to our 2019 fiscal year, however, our cost of goods sold was less during our 2020 fiscal year compared to our 2019 fiscal year which resulted in positive net income during the 2020 period compared to a net loss during the 2019 period.

    Ethanol

    The average price we received per gallon of ethanol sold was approximately 5.5% less during our 2020 fiscal year compared to our 2019 fiscal year. The ethanol industry struggled during both our 2020 fiscal year and 2019 fiscal year with lower ethanol prices due to decreased domestic demand. This decreased domestic demand was due to small refinery waivers from the ethanol use requirements under the RFS granted by the EPA which reduced the volume of ethanol which was required to be used in the United States. Early in 2020, lower oil prices resulted in decreased gasoline and ethanol prices. In addition, starting in March 2020, social distancing measures resulted in significant decreases in ethanol demand. Many states instituted social distancing measures which resulted in less gasoline demand as people stayed home to avoid infection. While we were able to maintain production due to commitments we had in place during our second quarter of 2020, we saw a 40% decrease in ethanol demand and a 32% decrease in ethanol price during that time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 3.9% of our ethanol sales were from industrial alcohol sales made during our 2020 fiscal year due to shortages experienced early in the COVID-19 pandemic.

    We sold approximately 11.1% fewer gallons of ethanol during our 2020 fiscal year compared our 2019 fiscal year due to significantly lower gasoline demand due to the COVID-19 social distances measures which were implemented during our 2020 fiscal year.

    We experienced a gain of approximately $383,000 related to our ethanol derivative instruments during our 2020 fiscal year which increased our revenue. We had no soybean oil derivative instruments during our 2020 fiscal year. We held no ethanol or soybean oil derivative instruments during our 2019 fiscal year.

    Distillers Grains

    The average price we received for our dried distillers grains during our 2020 fiscal year was approximately 4.8% less than the average price we received during our 2019 fiscal year primarily due to lower average corn prices during our 2020 fiscal year which typically impacts distillers grains prices. The average price we received from our modified distillers grains during our 2020 fiscal year was approximately 12.3% more compared to our 2019 fiscal year due to stronger local demand for distillers grains. Our modified distillers grains are primarily sold in our local market.

    We produced approximately 7.0% fewer tons of dried distillers grains and approximately 16.4% fewer tons of modified distillers grains during our 2020 fiscal year compared to our 2019 fiscal year due to decreased overall production during our 2020 fiscal year because of market disruptions from COVID-19. We significantly reduced production during March and April 2020 which negatively impacted our production for the year. In addition, we produced more corn oil during the 2020 period which resulted in a net decrease in the total distillers grains we produced during the 2020 fiscal year. When we produce more corn oil, it results in fewer tons of distillers grains produced. We decide whether to produce dried distillers grains versus modified/wet distillers grains based on market conditions and the relative cost of producing each form of distillers grains.

    Corn Oil

    The average price we received for our corn oil was approximately 4.0% greater during our 2020 fiscal year compared to our 2019 fiscal year primarily due to additional corn oil demand from the biodiesel industry. In addition, due to reductions in the amount of ethanol produced during our 2020 fiscal year, the supply of corn oil in the market was lower during our 2020 fiscal year. On December 17, 2019, Congress renewed the biodiesel blenders' credit retroactively for 2019 and for a total of five years. This certainty for the biodiesel blenders' credit has positively impacted demand for corn oil during that time period which has supported market corn oil prices.

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    Our corn oil sales increased by approximately 37.2% during our 2020 fiscal year compared to our 2019 fiscal year due to increased corn oil production per bushel of corn we ground. This increase in the amount of corn oil we produced per bushel of corn we ground was due to a change in chemicals used during the production process which resulted in more corn oil being extracted.
    
Cost of Goods Sold

    Our cost of goods sold is primarily made up of corn and energy expenses. Our total cost of goods sold was approximately 14.0% less for our 2020 fiscal year compared to our 2019 fiscal year due primarily to lower corn and natural gas costs during our 2020 fiscal year.

Corn Costs

Our cost of goods sold related to corn was approximately 22.5% lower during our 2020 fiscal year compared to our 2019 fiscal year due to lower average corn costs per bushel along with slightly fewer bushels of corn used during our 2020 fiscal year. Our average cost per bushel of corn used, without including our derivative instrument gains and losses, was approximately 16.3% lower during our 2020 fiscal year compared to our 2019 fiscal year. Management attributes this decrease in corn costs to lower corn demand from the ethanol industry during our 2020 fiscal year. Our corn use decreased by approximately 5.7% during our 2020 fiscal year compared to our 2019 fiscal year due to decreased overall production at the ethanol plant.

From time to time we enter into forward purchase contracts for our commodity purchases and sales. At September 30, 2020, we had forward corn purchase contracts for various delivery periods through March 2021 for a total commitment of approximately $9.42 million for a total of approximately 2.8 million bushels of corn. We had a loss of approximately $455,000 related to our corn derivative instruments which increased our cost of goods sold during our 2020 fiscal year. We had a gain of approximately $4.4 million related to our corn derivative instruments during our 2019 fiscal year which decreased our cost of goods sold. We recognize the gains or losses that result from the changes in the value of our derivative instruments from corn in cost of goods sold as the changes occur.  As corn prices fluctuate, the value of our derivative instruments is impacted, which affects our financial performance.

    Natural Gas Costs

    Our total natural gas costs to operate the ethanol plant were lower for our 2020 fiscal year compared to our 2019 fiscal year due primarily to decreased natural gas costs per MMBtu during the 2020 period. Our average cost per MMBtu of natural gas was approximately 14.9% lower during our 2020 fiscal year compared to our 2019 fiscal year. Management believes this decrease in natural gas costs during our 2020 fiscal year was due to lower energy prices generally during our 2020 fiscal year. We used approximately the same amount of natural gas during both our 2020 fiscal year and our 2019 fiscal year. Management expects that natural gas prices will remain steady during our 2021 fiscal year unless we experience supply disruptions which impact the amount of natural gas available in the market, particularly during the winter months when natural gas demand for heating needs is higher.

General and Administrative Expenses

    Our general and administrative expense was higher during our 2020 fiscal year and our 2019 fiscal year due to increased labor and consulting costs related to the carbon capture and storage project which is designed to decrease the carbon intensity of our ethanol, making it more valuable in the California fuel market.

Other Income/Expense

    We had more interest income during our 2020 fiscal year compared to our 2019 fiscal year due to having more cash on hand during the 2020 period. Our other income was lower during our 2020 fiscal year compared to our 2019 fiscal year due to a lower capital account distribution from RPMG, our marketer.
Changes in Financial Condition for the Year Ended September 30, 2021 and 2020

    Current Assets. We had less cash and equivalents on our balance sheet at September 30, 2021 compared to September 30, 2020 due to cash we used for capital expenditures for our carbon sequestration project along with an increase in restricted cash related to our derivative instruments at September 30, 2021 compared to September 30, 2020. We had more restricted cash at September 30, 2021 compared to September 30, 2020 as a result of having more cash deposited in our margin
25

account with our commodities broker related to our risk management positions. We had less accounts receivable at September 30, 2021 compared to September 30, 2020 due primarily to the timing of payments from our product marketers at the end of our 2021 fiscal year compared to the end of our 2020 fiscal year. We had more inventory on hand at September 30, 2021 compared to September 30, 2020 due to more finished goods inventory at September 30, 2021 due in part to higher ethanol prices which are used to value our inventory.

    Property, Plant and Equipment. The gross value of our property, plant and equipment was higher at September 30, 2021 compared to September 30, 2020 due primarily to the start of construction on our carbon capture and storage project during our 2021 fiscal year. The carbon capture and storage project, which was started during our 2019 fiscal year, will inject CO2 from the fermentation process into a saline formation to lower the carbon intensity value of our ethanol so it qualifies for the west coast clean fuels programs.

    Other Assets. Our other assets were higher at September 30, 2021 than at September 30, 2020 due primarily to an increase in our patronage equity with Roughrider Electric Cooperative The net right of use asset related to our operating leases was lower at September 30, 2021 than at September 30, 2020 due to amortization of our operating leases during our 2021 fiscal year.

    Current Liabilities. We had checks issued in excess of our bank balances at September 30, 2021. When checks are presented for payment which exceed our cash balances, we use our revolving loan to pay the amounts owed. Our accounts payable was higher at September 30, 2021 and at September 30, 2020 due to deferred corn payments. Our accrued expenses were lower at September 30, 2021 compared to September 30, 2020 due to having fewer corn payables at September 30, 2021 compared to September 30, 2020. We had a larger accrued loss on our firm corn purchase commitments at September 30, 2021 compared to September 30, 2020 due to corn price increases. The current maturities of our long-term debt was lower at September 30, 2021 compared to September 30, 2020 due to forgiveness of our Paycheck Protection Program ("PPP") loan during our 2021 fiscal year. The current portion of our operating lease liability was higher at September 30, 2021 compared to September 30, 2020 due to increased amortization of our operating leases.

    Long-term Liabilities. We had less long-term liabilities at September 30, 2021 compared to September 30, 2020 due to forgiveness of our PPP loan along with payments on our long term debt during our 2021 fiscal year. We had a smaller long-term liability related to operating leases at September 30, 2021 compared to September 30, 2020 due to regular amortization of our operating leases.

Critical Accounting Policies

    Management uses estimates and assumptions in preparing our financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. These estimates and assumptions affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities, and the reported revenues and expenses. Of the significant accounting policies described in the notes to our financial statements, we believe that the following are the most critical.

Inventory

    Corn is the primary raw material and, along with other raw materials and supplies, is stated at the lower of cost or net realizable value on a first-in, first-out (FIFO) basis.  Work in process and finished goods, which consists of ethanol, distillers grains and corn oil produced, is stated at the lower of average cost or net realizable value.  Spare parts inventory is valued at lower of cost or net realizable value on a FIFO basis.

Allowance for Doubtful Accounts

    Management's estimate of the Allowance for Doubtful Accounts is based on management's estimate of the collectability of identified receivables, as well as the aging of customer accounts. A 10% change in management's estimate regarding the Allowance for Doubtful Accounts as of September 30, 2021 could impact net income by approximately $38,000 for our 2022 fiscal year.

Revenue Recognition
    
    The Company sells ethanol and related products pursuant to marketing agreements. The Company recognizes revenue from sales of ethanol and co-products at the point in time when the performance obligations in the contract are met, which is when the customer obtains control of such products and typically occurs upon shipment depending on the terms of the underlying contracts. Revenue is measured as the amount of consideration expected to be received in exchange for transferring
26

goods or providing services. In some instances, the Company enters into contracts with customers that contain multiple performance obligations to deliver volumes of co-products over a contractual period of less than 12 months. The Company allocates the transaction price to each performance obligation identified in the contract based on relative standalone selling prices and recognizes the related revenue as control of each individual product is transferred to the customer in satisfaction of the corresponding performance obligation. Revenues are shown net of any fees incurred under the terms of the Company's agreements for the marketing and sale of ethanol and related products.

Long Lived Assets

    Property, plant, and equipment are stated at cost. Depreciation is provided over estimated useful lives by use of the straight line method. Maintenance and repairs are expensed as incurred. Major improvements and betterments are capitalized. The present values of finance lease obligations are classified as long-term debt and the related assets are included in property, plant and equipment. Amortization of equipment under finance leases is included in depreciation expense. Management does not believe it is reasonably likely that the valuation of its property, plant and equipment will change in any material manner in future estimates.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

    Based on financial forecasts performed by our management, we anticipate that we will have sufficient cash from our expected credit facilities and cash from our operations to continue to operate the ethanol plant for the next 12 months. Should we experience unfavorable operating conditions in the future, we may have to secure additional debt or equity sources for working capital or other purposes. We do not have any planned capital projects for which we anticipate requiring additional borrowing.
    
    The following table shows cash flows for the years ended September 30, 2021 and 2020:
20212020
Net cash provided by operating activities$19,721,836 $3,292,949 
Net cash (used in) investing activities(23,053,910)(8,871,441)
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities(2,565,171)6,168,912 
Net increase (decrease) in cash$(5,897,245)$590,420 
Cash and equivalents, end of period$5,215,244 $11,112,489 

Cash Flow from Operations

Our operations provided more cash during our 2021 fiscal year compared to our 2020 fiscal year due primarily to a larger net income we generated during the 2021 period compared. We had a significant increase in accounts payable and accrued expenses related to deferred corn payments which provided more cash during our 2021 fiscal year.

Cash Flow from Investing Activities

We used more cash for capital expenditures during our 2021 fiscal year compared to our 2020 fiscal year. During our 2021 fiscal year, we had capital expenditures primarily related to our carbon sequestration project. During our 2020 fiscal year, we also had capital expenditures related to our carbon sequestration project and our industrial alcohol project.
    
Cash Flow from Financing Activities

Our financing activities used cash during our 2021 fiscal year due primarily to a dividend we paid during our 2021 fiscal year. We also used more cash for debt and lease repayments during our 2021 fiscal year compared to our 2020 fiscal year.

Our liquidity, results of operations and financial performance will be impacted by many variables, including the market price for commodities such as, but not limited to, corn, ethanol and other energy commodities, as well as the market price for any co-products generated by the facility and the cost of labor and other operating costs.  Assuming future relative price levels for corn, ethanol and distillers grains remain consistent, we expect operations to generate adequate cash flows to maintain operations.


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    The following table shows cash flows for the years ended September 30, 2020 and 2019:
20202019
Net cash provided by operating activities$3,292,949 $378,740 
Net cash (used in) investing activities(8,871,441)(725,559)
Net cash (used in) financing activities6,168,912 (4,451)
Net increase (decrease) in cash$590,420 $(351,270)
Cash and equivalents, end of period$11,112,489 $10,522,069 

Cash Flow from Operations

Our operations provided more cash during our 2020 fiscal year compared to our 2019 fiscal year due to net income we generated during the 2020 period compared to a net loss during the 2019 period. Our derivative instruments, accounts receivable and accounts payable positively impacted the cash generated by our operating activities during our 2020 fiscal year.

Cash Flow from Investing Activities

We used more cash for capital expenditures during our 2020 fiscal year compared to our 2019 fiscal year. During our 2020 fiscal year, we had capital expenditures primarily related to our carbon sequestration project. During our 2019 fiscal year, we had capital expenditures primarily related to improvements to our centrifuges and heat exchangers.
    
Cash Flow from Financing Activities

Our financing activities provided cash during our 2020 fiscal year due to increased cash from our debt instruments. We used cash during our 2019 fiscal year for lease repayments.

Capital Expenditures
 
    We had approximately $29.2 million in construction in progress as of September 30, 2021 related to our carbon capture and storage and industrial alcohol projects. During the fiscal year ended September 30, 2021, we placed in service approximately $4.7 million in capital projects.

Capital Resources

    On January 22, 2020, we entered into a series of loans with Cornerstone Bank ("Cornerstone"), described below. On February 1, 2021 we renewed our $10 million Revolving Loan with Cornerstone Bank. In addition, on February 1, 2021 we entered into a $28 million construction loan with Cornerstone Bank for the carbon capture and storage project described below.

Revolving Loan

On January 22, 2020, we entered into a new $10 million revolving loan (the "Revolving Loan") with Cornerstone which was renewed on February 1, 2021. Interest accrues on any outstanding balance on the Revolving Loan at a rate of 1.2% less than the prime rate as published by the Wall Street Journal, adjusted monthly. The Revolving Loan has a minimum interest rate of 3.0%. The maturity date of the Revolving Loan is January 21, 2022. The Revolving Loan is secured by a lien on all of our assets. At September 30, 2021, we had $10 million available on the Revolving Loan. The variable interest rate on September 30, 2021 was 3.00%.

Construction Loan

On January 22, 2020, we entered into a new $7 million construction loan (the "Construction Loan") with Cornerstone to finance our carbon capture and storage project. Interest accrues on any outstanding balance on the Construction Loan at a rate of 1.2% less than the prime rate as published by the Wall Street Journal, adjusted monthly. The maturity date of the Construction Loan is February 1, 2022. The Construction Loan is secured by a lien on all of our assets. At September 30, 2021, we had $7 million available on the Construction Loan. The variable interest rate on September 30, 2021 was 3.00%.

On February 1, 2021, we entered into a new $28 million construction loan (the "CCS Construction Loan") with Cornerstone to finance our carbon capture and storage project. Interest accrues on any outstanding balance on the CCS Construction Loan at a rate of 1.2% less than the prime rate as published by the Wall Street Journal, adjusted monthly. The
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CCS Construction Loan has a minimum interest rate of 3.0%. The maturity date of the CCS Construction Loan is January 31, 2022. The CCS Construction Loan is secured by a lien on substantially all of our assets. At September 30, 2021, we had $28 million available under the CCS Construction Loan. The variable interest rate on September 30, 2021 was 3.00%.

Paycheck Protection Program Loan

On April 16, 2020, we entered into a new $873,400 Paycheck Protection Program Loan (the "PPP Loan) with Cornerstone. Interest accrued on any outstanding balance on the PPP Loan at a rate of 1.0%. The maturity date of the PPP Loan was April 16, 2022. Under the terms of the loan, the Company applied for forgiveness of the entire amount of the PPP Loan on October 31, 2020, in accordance with PPP regulations, which provided for the possibility of loan forgiveness because the Company used all the proceeds of the PPP Loan for qualifying expenses in accordance with PPP requirements. The entire amount of the PPP Loan was forgiven on January 20, 2021. The forgiven amount was recorded as other income.

Ethanol Recovery Program

On July 13, 2020, we entered into a loan with the Bank of North Dakota Ethanol Recovery Program and Cornerstone for $5.41 million. The Ethanol Recovery Program was developed by the North Dakota Ethanol Producers Association and the Bank of North Dakota to use the existing Biofuels Pace program and value-added loan guarantee program to help ethanol production facilities weather the pandemic economic challenges. Ethanol producers could qualify for up to $15 million dollars of a low interest loan of 1% based on the amount of annual corn grind. The maturity date of the loan is July 13, 2025. The fixed interest rate as of September 30, 2021 was 3.75% with an interest rate buy down through the Bank of North Dakota to 1%. We make monthly payments of approximately $74,000 per month with the balance outstanding on September 30, 2021 of approximately $4,600,000.

Contractual Obligations and Commercial Commitments

    We have the following contractual obligations as of September 30, 2021:
Contractual Obligations:TotalLess than 1 Yr1-3 Years3-5 Years
Long-term debt obligations *$4,607,606 $719,233 $3,888,373 $— 
Corn purchases *5,686,021 5,686,021 
Water purchases1,908,000 424,000 1,272,000 212,000 
Operating lease obligations762,847 372,987 389,860 
Finance leases14,409 4,542 9,867 
Total$12,978,883 $7,206,783 $5,560,100 $212,000 

* - Amounts determined assuming prices, including freight costs, at which corn had been contracted for cash corn contracts and current market prices as of September 30, 2021 for basis contracts that had not yet been fixed.

ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

    We are exposed to the impact of market fluctuations associated with commodity prices as discussed below. We have no exposure to foreign currency risk as all of our business is conducted in U.S. Dollars and we have no exposure to interest rate risk as we have no amounts outstanding on variable interest debt. We use derivative financial instruments as part of an overall strategy to manage market risk. We use cash, futures and option contracts to hedge changes to the commodity prices of corn and ethanol. We do not enter into these derivative financial instruments for trading or speculative purposes, nor do we designate these contracts as hedges for accounting purposes pursuant to the requirements of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP").

Commodity Price Risk
 
    We expect to be exposed to market risk from changes in commodity prices.  Exposure to commodity price risk results from our dependence on corn in the ethanol production process and the sale of ethanol.
 
    We enter into fixed price contracts for corn purchases on a regular basis.  It is our intent that, as we enter into these contracts, we will use various hedging instruments (puts, calls and futures) to maintain a near even market position.  For example, if we have 1 million bushels of corn under fixed price contracts we would generally expect to enter into a short hedge
29

position to offset our price risk relative to those bushels we have under fixed price contracts. Because our ethanol marketing company (RPMG) is selling substantially all of the gallons it markets on a spot basis we also include the corn bushel equivalent of the ethanol we have produced that is inventory but not yet priced as bushels that need to be hedged.
 
    Although we believe our hedge positions will accomplish an economic hedge against our future purchases, they are not designated as hedges for accounting purposes, which would match the gain or loss on our hedge positions to the specific commodity purchase being hedged.  We use fair value accounting for our hedge positions, which means as the current market price of our hedge positions changes, the gains and losses are immediately recognized in our cost of sales.  The immediate recognition of hedging gains and losses under fair value accounting can cause net income to be volatile from quarter to quarter and year to year due to the timing of the change in value of derivative instruments relative to the cost of the commodity being hedged.  However, it is likely that commodity cash prices will have the greatest impact on the derivatives instruments with delivery dates nearest the current cash price.
 
    As of September 30, 2021, we had approximately 5.7 million bushels of corn under fixed price contracts.  
 
    It is the current position of our ethanol marketing company, RPMG, that under current market conditions selling ethanol in the spot market will yield the best price for our ethanol.  RPMG will, from time to time, contract a portion of the gallons they market with fixed price contracts.  
 
    We estimate that our expected corn usage will be between 21 million and 23 million bushels per calendar year for the production of approximately 59 million to 64 million gallons of ethanol.  As corn prices move in reaction to market trends and information, our income statements will be affected depending on the impact such market movements have on the value of our derivative instruments.
     
A sensitivity analysis has been prepared to estimate our exposure to corn, natural gas and ethanol price risk. Market risk related to our corn, natural gas and ethanol prices is estimated as the potential change in income resulting from a hypothetical 10% adverse change in the average cost of our corn and natural gas, and our average ethanol sales price as of September 30, 2021, net of the forward and future contracts used to hedge our market risk for corn, natural gas and ethanol. The volumes are based on our expected use and sale of these commodities for a one year period from September 30, 2021. The results of this analysis, which may differ from actual results, are as follows:

Estimated Volume Requirements for the next 12 months (net of forward and futures contracts)Unit of MeasureHypothetical Adverse Change in PriceApproximate Adverse Change to Income
Ethanol63,900,000 Gallons10 %$(13,419,000)
Corn17,135,000 Bushels10 %$(11,138,000)
Natural gas1,664,000 MMBtu10 %$(649,000)


    For comparison purposes, below is our analysis for our fiscal year ended September 30, 2020.
Estimated Volume Requirements for the next 12 months (net of forward and futures contracts)Unit of MeasureHypothetical Adverse Change in PriceApproximate Adverse Change to Income
Ethanol63,900,000 Gallons10 %$(8,143,200)
Corn22,822,000 Bushels10 %$(5,992,000)
Natural gas1,664,000 MMBtu10 %$(333,000)

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ITEM 8.    FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA
rte-20210930_g2.jpg
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the Board of Governors
Red Trail Energy, LLC
Richardton, North Dakota

Opinion on the Financial Statements
We have audited the accompanying balance sheets of Red Trail Energy, LLC (the Company) as of September 30, 2021 and 2020, and the related statements of operations, changes in members’ equity, and cash flows, for the years ended September 30, 2021, 2020, and 2019, and the related notes (collectively referred to as the “financial statements”). In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of September 30, 2021 and 2020, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the years ended September 30, 2021, 2020, and 2019, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

Basis for Opinion
These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB) and are required to be independent with respect to the Red Trail Energy, LLC in accordance with U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. The Company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. As part of our audits, we are required to obtain an understanding of internal control over financial reporting but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion.

Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risk of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

Critical Audit Matter
The critical audit matter communicated below is a matter arising from the current period audit of the financial statements that was communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that: (1) relate to accounts or disclosures that are material to the financial statements and (2) involved especially challenging, subjective or complex judgments. The communication of critical audit matters does not alter in any way our opinion on the financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matter below, providing a separate opinion on the critical audit matter or on the accounts or disclosures to which it relates.

Inventory Valuation

As discussed in Note 1 of the financial statements, the Company’s balance of inventory was $11,546,842 as of September 30, 2021. The valuation of inventories, including corn raw materials, work in process, and ethanol finished goods, requires management to make significant assumptions and complex judgments about the inventory cost and net realizable value. These assumptions include the assessment of net realizable value by inventory category, considering market inputs and demand for their products.

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We identified inventory valuation as a critical audit matter. Auditing these complex judgments and assumptions involves especially challenging auditor judgment due to the nature and extent of audit evidence and effort required to address these matters, including the extent of specialized skill or knowledge needed.

The primary procedures we performed to address this critical audit matter included:

Gaining an understanding of management’s process and methodology to develop the estimates.
Evaluating the reasonableness of the significant assumptions used by management including those related to market inputs, industry standards, and conversion factors.
Testing the completeness, accuracy and relevance of the underlying data used in management’s estimate, which included comparing the price used for corn valuation to readily available market information, verifying inputs for ethanol tank capacity, and evaluating other costs necessary to produce ethanol.


rte-20210930_g3.jpg
We have served as Red Trail Energy, LLC’s auditor since 2012.

Minneapolis, Minnesota
December 17, 2021
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RED TRAIL ENERGY, LLC
Balance Sheets
 ASSETSSeptember 30, 2021September 30, 2020
Current Assets
Cash and equivalents$508,521 $9,304,638 
Restricted cash4,706,723 1,807,851 
Accounts receivable, net, primarily related party1,468,521 1,963,236 
Commodities derivative instruments, at fair value— 42,005 
Inventory11,546,842 10,137,872 
Prepaid expenses466,036 371,283 
Total current assets18,696,643 23,626,885 
Property, Plant and Equipment
Land1,333,681 1,333,681 
Land improvements4,465,311 4,465,311 
Buildings9,581,778 8,135,994 
Plant and equipment and railroad91,666,322 88,442,644 
Construction in progress29,154,711 9,805,770 
136,201,803 112,183,400 
Less accumulated depreciation72,777,271 67,855,740 
Net property, plant and equipment63,424,532 44,327,660 
Other Assets
Right of use operating lease assets, net762,847 1,008,677 
Investment in RPMG605,000 605,000 
Patronage equity4,924,123 4,540,963 
Deposits40,000 40,000 
Total other assets6,331,970 6,194,640 
Total Assets$88,453,145 $74,149,185 

Notes to Financial Statements are an integral part of this Statement.
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RED TRAIL ENERGY, LLC
Balance Sheets
LIABILITIES AND MEMBERS' EQUITYSeptember 30, 2021September 30, 2020
Current Liabilities
Disbursements in excess of bank balances$1,343,608 $— 
Accounts payable10,099,876 4,299,764 
Accrued expenses1,435,117 1,937,555 
Accrued loss on firm purchase commitments (see note 5)184,000 130,000 
Customer deposits11,008 — 
Current maturities of notes payable723,775 1,276,256 
Current portion of operating lease liabilities372,986 364,862 
Total current liabilities14,170,370 8,008,437 
Long-Term Liabilities
Notes payable, less current maturities 3,898,239 4,916,081 
Long-term operating lease liabilities389,861 643,815 
Total long-term liabilities4,288,100 5,559,896 
Commitments and Contingencies (Notes 5, 6, 8, 10 and 14)
Members’ Equity (40,148,160 Class A Membership Units issued and outstanding on September 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively)
69,994,675 60,580,852 
Total Liabilities and Members’ Equity$88,453,145 $74,149,185 

Notes to Financial Statements are an integral part of this Statement.
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RED TRAIL ENERGY, LLC
Statements of Operations
Year EndedYear EndedYear Ended
September 30, 2021September 30, 2020September 30, 2019
Revenues, primarily related party$119,084,611 $94,175,793 $103,697,726 
Cost of Goods Sold
Cost of goods sold103,667,724 89,676,395 104,479,424 
Lower of cost or net realizable value adjustment263,777 241,294 119,050 
Loss on firm purchase commitments184,000 217,000 92,000 
Total Cost of Goods Sold104,115,501 90,134,689 104,690,474 
Gross Profit (Loss)14,969,110 4,041,104 (992,748)
General and Administrative Expenses3,239,245 4,329,824 3,135,825 
Operating Income (Loss)11,729,865 (288,720)(4,128,573)
Other Income (Expense)
Interest income55,691 117,143 116,922 
Other income890,818 187,626 268,974 
Interest expense(50,695)(9,461)(12)
Total other income (expense), net895,814 295,308 385,884 
Net Income (Loss)$12,625,679 $6,588 $(3,742,689)
Weighted Average Units Outstanding
  Basic40,148,160 40,148,160 40,148,160 
  Diluted40,148,160 40,148,160 40,148,160 
Net Income (Loss) Per Unit
  Basic$0.31 $— $(0.09)
  Diluted$0.31 $— $(0.09)

Notes to Financial Statements are an integral part of this Statement.


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RED TRAIL ENERGY, LLC
Statements of Changes in Members' Equity
Years Ended September 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019
Class A Member UnitsTreasury Units
Units (a)AmountAdditional Paid in CapitalAccumulated Retained EarningsUnitsAmountTotal Member Equity
Balances - September 30, 201840,148,160 $39,044,595 75,541 $25,358,139 140,000 $(159,540)$64,318,735 
Units Issued— — — — — — — 
Units repurchased and retired— — — — — — — 
Distribution— — — (1,782)— — (1,782)
Net Income (Loss)— — — (3,742,689)— — (3,742,689)
Balances - September 30, 201940,148,160 $39,044,595 75,541 $21,613,668 140,000 $(159,540)$60,574,264 
Units Issued— — — — — — — 
Units repurchased and retired— — — — — — — 
Distribution— — — — — — — 
Net Income— — — 6,588 — — 6,588 
Balances - September 30, 202040,148,160 $39,044,595 75,541 $21,620,256 140,000 $(159,540)$60,580,852 
Units Issued— — — — — — — 
Units repurchased and retired— — — — — — — 
Distribution— — — (3,211,856)— — (3,211,856)
Net Income— — — 12,625,679 — — 12,625,679 
Balances - September 30, 202140,148,160 $39,044,595 75,541 $31,034,079 140,000 $(159,540)$69,994,675 
(a) - Amounts shown represent member units outstanding.

Notes to Financial Statements are an integral part of this Statement.

36

RED TRAIL ENERGY, LLC
Statements of Cash Flows
Year EndedYear EndedYear Ended
September 30, 2021September 30, 2020September 30, 2019
Cash Flows from Operating Activities
Net income (loss)$12,625,679 $6,588 $(3,742,689)
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:
Depreciation and amortization4,921,531 4,799,667 4,766,966 
(Gain) loss on disposal of fixed assets— (26,213)3,659 
Change in fair value of derivative instruments42,005 (50,880)(2,236,775)
Accrued purchase commitment losses54,000 62,000 (136,000)
Lower of cost or net realizable value adjustment263,777 241,294 119,050 
Loss on firm purchase commitments184,000 217,000 92,000 
Noncash patronage equity(383,160)(421,812)(640,599)
Loan forgiveness(873,400)— — 
Change in operating assets and liabilities:
Accounts receivable, net, primarily related party494,716 1,947,148 (881,070)
Inventory(1,856,747)(3,633,340)3,797,180 
Prepaid expenses(94,753)(261,783)1,474 
Customer deposits11,008 — — 
  Accounts payable and accrued expenses4,333,180 413,280 (764,456)
Net cash provided by operating activities19,721,836 3,292,949 378,740 
Cash Flows from Investing Activities
Proceeds from disposal of fixed assets— 75,827 18,295 
Capital expenditures(23,053,910)(8,947,268)(743,854)
   Net cash (used in) investing activities(23,053,910)(8,871,441)(725,559)
Cash Flows from Financing Activities
Disbursements in excess of bank balances1,343,608 — — 
Dividends paid(3,211,856)— (1,782)
Proceeds from notes payable— 6,285,638 — 
Debt and finance lease repayments(696,923)(116,726)(2,669)
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities(2,565,171)6,168,912 (4,451)
Net Increase (Decrease) in Cash, Cash Equivalents and Restricted Cash(5,897,245)590,420 (351,270)
Cash, Cash Equivalents and Restricted Cash - Beginning of Period11,112,489 10,522,069 10,873,339 
Cash, Cash Equivalents and Restricted Cash - End of Period$5,215,244 $11,112,489 $10,522,069 
Reconciliation of Cash, Cash Equivalents and Restricted Cash
Cash and cash equivalents$508,521 $9,304,638 $8,565,038 
Restricted Cash4,706,723 1,807,851 1,957,031 
Total Cash, Cash Equivalents and Restricted Cash$5,215,244 $11,112,489 $10,522,069 
Supplemental Disclosure of Cash Flow Information
Interest paid$50,695 $9,461 $12 
Noncash Investing and Financing Activities
Finance lease asset acquired$— $23,173 $— 
Operating lease asset acquired$81,729 $168,300 $— 
Capital expenditures in accounts payable$964,494 $894,307 $— 
Notes to Financial Statements are an integral part of this Statement.
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RED TRAIL ENERGY, LLC
NOTES TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
FOR THE YEARS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019

1. SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES

Nature of Business

Red Trail Energy, LLC, a North Dakota limited liability company (the “Company”), owns and operates a 50 million gallon annual name-plate production ethanol plant near Richardton, North Dakota (the “Plant”). The Plant commenced production on January 1, 2007. Fuel grade ethanol, distillers grains and corn oil are the Company's primary products. All products are marketed and sold primarily within the continental United States.

Accounting Estimates

Management uses estimates and assumptions in preparing these financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Those estimates and assumptions affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities and the reported revenues and expenses. Significant items subject to such estimates and assumptions include the useful lives of property, plant and equipment, inventory and allowance for doubtful accounts. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

Cash and Equivalents

The Company considers all highly liquid debt instruments purchased with an initial maturity of three months or less to be cash equivalents. The carrying value of cash and equivalents approximates fair value. Balances in excess of federally insured limits are not covered by FDIC insurance. Restricted cash is cash deposited in our margin account with our commodities broker related to our risk management positions.

Investment in RPMG

RPMG is a subsidiary of Renewable Products Marketing Group, LLC ("RPMG, LLC"). We own approximately 5.6% of RPMG, LLC which allows us to realize favorable marketing fees for our products and allows us to share in the profits generated by RPMG, LLC. Our ownership interest in RPMG, LLC also entitles us to a seat on its board of directors which is filled by Gerald Bachmeier, our Chief Executive Officer. The Company accounts for the investment in RPMG at cost minus impairment.

Accounts Receivable and Concentration of Credit Risk

The Company generates accounts receivable from sales of ethanol, distillers grains and corn oil. The Company has entered into agreements with RPMG, Inc. (“RPMG”) for the marketing and distribution of the Company's ethanol, corn oil and dried distiller's grains. Under the terms of the marketing agreement, RPMG bears the risk of loss of nonpayment by their customers. The Company markets its modified distiller's grains internally.

For sales of modified distiller's grains and industrial ethanol, credit is extended based on evaluation of a customer's financial condition and collateral is not required. Accounts receivable are due 30 days from the invoice date. Accounts outstanding longer than the contractual payment terms are considered past due. Internal follow up procedures are followed accordingly. Interest is charged on past due accounts.

All receivables are stated at amounts due from customers net of any allowance for doubtful accounts. The Company determines its allowance by considering a number of factors, including the length of time trade accounts receivable are past due, the Company's previous loss history, the customer's perceived current ability to pay its obligation to the Company, and the condition of the general economy and the industry as a whole. The Company writes off accounts receivable when they become uncollectible, and payments subsequently received on such receivables are credited to the allowance for doubtful accounts. The Company has an allowance for doubtful accounts of $386,850 and $429,633 at September 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively.

Inventory

Corn is the primary raw material and, along with other raw materials and supplies, is stated at the lower of cost or net realizable value on a first-in, first-out (FIFO) basis.  Work in process and finished goods, which consists of ethanol, distillers grains and corn oil produced, is stated at the lower of average cost or net realizable value.  Spare parts inventory is valued at lower of cost or net realizable value on a FIFO basis.
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RED TRAIL ENERGY, LLC
NOTES TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
FOR THE YEARS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019


Patronage Equity

The Company receives, from certain vendors organized as cooperatives, patronage dividends, which are based on several criteria, including the vendor's overall profitability and the Company's purchases from the vendor. Patronage equity typically represents the Company's share of the vendor's undistributed current earnings which will be paid in either cash or equity interests to the Company at a future date. Investments in cooperatives are stated at cost, plus unredeemed patronage refunds received in the form of capital stock and are included in Other Assets on the Company's balance sheet.
Derivative Instruments

The Company enters into derivative transactions to hedge its exposure to commodity and interest rate price fluctuations. The Company is required to record these derivatives in the balance sheet at fair value.

In order for a derivative to qualify as a hedge, specific criteria must be met and appropriate documentation maintained. Gains and losses from derivatives that do not qualify as hedges, or are undesignated, must be recognized immediately in earnings. If the derivative does qualify as a hedge, depending on the nature of the hedge, changes in the fair value of the derivative will be either offset against the change in fair value of the hedged assets, liabilities, or firm commitments through earnings or recognized in other comprehensive income until the hedged item is recognized in earnings. Changes in the fair value of undesignated derivatives related to corn are recorded in costs of goods sold within the statements of operations. Changes in the fair value of undesignated derivatives related to ethanol are recorded in revenue within the statements of operations.

Additionally the Company is required to evaluate its contracts to determine whether the contracts are derivatives. Certain contracts that literally meet the definition of a derivative may be exempted as “normal purchases or normal sales.” Normal purchases and normal sales are contracts that provide for the purchase or sale of something other than a financial instrument or derivative instrument that will be delivered in quantities expected to be used or sold over a reasonable period in the normal course of business. Certain corn, ethanol and distiller's grain contracts that meet the requirement of normal purchases or sales are documented as normal and exempted from the accounting and reporting requirements, and therefore, are not marked to market in our financial statements.

Firm Purchase Commitments

The Company typically enters into fixed price contracts to purchase corn to ensure an adequate supply of corn to operate its plant. The Company will generally seek to use exchange traded futures, options or swaps as an offsetting economic hedge position. The Company closely monitors the number of bushels hedged using this strategy to avoid an unacceptable level of margin exposure. Contract prices are analyzed by management at each period end and, if necessary, valued at the lower of cost or net realizable value in the balance sheets.

Revenue Recognition

The Company generally sells ethanol and related products pursuant to marketing agreements. The Company recognizes revenue from sales of ethanol and co-products at the point in time when the performance obligations in the contract are met, which is when the customer obtains control of such products and typically occurs upon shipment depending on the terms of the underlying contracts. Revenue is measured as the amount of consideration expected to be received in exchange for transferring goods or providing services. In some instances, the Company enters into contracts with customers that contain multiple performance obligations to deliver volumes of co-products over a contractual period of less than 12 months. The Company allocates the transaction price to each performance obligation identified in the contract based on relative standalone selling prices and recognizes the related revenue as control of each individual product is transferred to the customer in satisfaction of the corresponding performance obligation. Revenues are shown net of any fees incurred under the terms of the Company's agreements for the marketing and sale of ethanol and related products. Revenues are also shown net of any discounts given for sales of modified distillers grains.

Long-lived Assets

Property, plant, and equipment are stated at cost. Depreciation is provided over estimated useful lives by use of the straight line method. Maintenance and repairs are expensed as incurred. Major improvements and betterments are capitalized. The present
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RED TRAIL ENERGY, LLC
NOTES TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
FOR THE YEARS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019

values of finance lease obligations are classified as a liability and the related assets are included in property, plant and equipment. Amortization of equipment under finance leases is included in depreciation expense.

Depreciation is computed using the straight-line method over the following estimated useful lives:
Minimum YearsMaximum Years
    Land improvements1530
    Buildings1040
    Plant and equipment720
    Railroad1030

Depreciation expense included in cost of goods sold is $4,832,462 for the year ended September 30, 2021, $4,722,077 for the year ended September 30, 2020 and $4,691,891 for the year ended September 30, 2019. Depreciation expense included in general and administrative expenses is $89,069 for the year ended September 30, 2021, $77,590 for the year ended September 30, 2020, and $75,075 for the year ended September 30, 2019.

Long-lived assets, such as property, plant, and equipment, and purchased intangible assets subject to amortization, are reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. If circumstances require a long-lived asset be tested for possible impairment, the Company first compares undiscounted cash flows expected to be generated by an asset to the carrying value of the asset. If the carrying value of the long-lived asset is not recoverable on an undiscounted cash flow basis, impairment is recognized to the extent that the carrying value exceeds its fair value. Fair value is determined through various valuation techniques including, but not limited to, discounted cash flow models, quoted market values and third-party independent appraisals.

Fair Value Measurements

The Company has adopted guidance for accounting for fair value measurements of financial assets and financial liabilities and for fair value measurements of nonfinancial items that are recognized or disclosed at fair value in the financial statements on a recurring basis. The Company has adopted guidance for fair value measurement related to nonfinancial items that are recognized and disclosed at fair value in the financial statements on a nonrecurring basis. The guidance establishes a fair value hierarchy that prioritizes the inputs to valuation techniques used to measure fair value. The hierarchy gives the highest priority to unadjusted quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities (Level 1 measurements) and the lowest priority to measurements involving significant unobservable inputs (Level 3 measurements).
 
The three levels of the fair value hierarchy are as follows:
 
·                  Level 1 inputs are quoted prices (unadjusted) in active markets for identical assets or liabilities that the Company has the ability to access at the measurement date.
 
·                  Level 2 inputs are inputs other than quoted prices included within Level 1 that are observable for the asset or liability, either directly or indirectly, for substantially the full term of the asset or liability.
 
·                  Level 3 inputs are unobservable inputs for the asset or liability.
 
The level in the fair value hierarchy within which a fair measurement in its entirety falls is based on the lowest level input that is significant to the fair value measurement in its entirety.
 
Except for those assets and liabilities which are required by authoritative accounting guidance to be recorded at fair value in our balance sheets, the Company has elected not to record any other assets or liabilities at fair value. No events occurred during the fiscal years ended September 30, 2021 and 2020 that required adjustment to the recognized balances of assets or liabilities, which are recorded at fair value on a nonrecurring basis.

40

RED TRAIL ENERGY, LLC
NOTES TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
FOR THE YEARS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019

Fair Value of Financial Instruments
 
The carrying amounts of cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable, and accounts payable approximate their fair values because of their short-term nature. The fair values of notes payable approximates the carrying value based on estimated discounted future cash flows using the current rates at which similar loans would be made.

Income Taxes

The Company is treated as a partnership for federal and state income tax purposes and generally does not incur income taxes. Instead, its earnings and losses are included in the income tax returns of the members. Therefore, no provision or liability for federal or state income taxes has been included in these financial statements.

Differences between financial statement basis of assets and tax basis of assets is primarily related to depreciation, derivatives, inventory, compensation and capitalization and amortization of organization and start-up costs for tax purposes, whereas these costs are expensed for financial statement purposes.

The Company has evaluated whether it has any significant tax uncertainties that would require recognition or disclosure. Primarily due to its partnership tax status, the Company does not have any significant tax uncertainties that would require recognition or disclosure. The Company's policy is to recognize interest expense and penalties related to uncertain tax positions as incurred.

Net Income (Loss) Per Unit

Net income (loss) per unit is calculated on a basic and fully diluted basis using the weighted average units outstanding during the period.

Recently Adopted Accounting Pronouncements

Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments

In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-13, “Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments.” ASU 2016-13 adds a current expected credit loss (“CECL”) impairment model to U.S. GAAP that is based on expected losses rather than incurred losses. Modified retrospective adoption is required with any cumulative-effect adjustment recorded to retained earnings as of the beginning of the period of adoption. ASU 2016-13 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, including interim periods within the year of adoption. Early adoption is permitted for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, including interim periods within those fiscal years. Effective October 1, 2020, the Company adopted ASU 2016-13 using the modified retrospective approach. As of September 30, 2021 there has been no impact of adoption for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2021. The Company expects the impact of adopting the new standard to be immaterial on an ongoing basis.

    Lease Accounting Standards

In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, "Leases (topic 842)" which requires a lessee to recognize a right to use asset and a lease liability on its balance sheet for all leases with terms of twelve months or greater. This guidance is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, included interim periods within those years with early adoption permitted. Effective October 1, 2019 the Company adopted ASU No. 2016-02 using the modified retrospective approach. See note 8 for current operating and financing lease commitments.

Environmental Liabilities

The Company's operations are subject to environmental laws and regulations adopted by various governmental entities in the jurisdiction in which it operates. These laws require the Company to investigate and remediate the effects of the release or disposal of materials at its location. Accordingly, the Company has adopted policies, practices and procedures in the areas of pollution control, occupational health and the production, handling, storage and use of hazardous materials to prevent material, environmental or other damage, and to limit the financial liability which could result from such events. Environmental liabilities, if any, are recorded when the liability is probable and the costs can reasonably be estimated. The Company is not aware of any environmental liabilities identified as of September 30, 2021.
41

RED TRAIL ENERGY, LLC
NOTES TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
FOR THE YEARS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019


2. CONCENTRATIONS

Coal and Natural Gas

In previous years coal was an important input to our manufacturing process. During the second quarter of our 2015 fiscal year we converted the energy source for our ethanol plant to natural gas. As a result, we do not anticipate using coal to fire the ethanol plant in the future and changes in the price or availability of coal will not impact our operations. However, we maintain the equipment necessary to operate the ethanol plant using coal as the fuel source which management believes could benefit us in the future, especially if natural gas prices increase or natural gas is not available at the ethanol plant. The Company signed a sales agreement with Rainbow Gas Company to supply natural gas to the plant through October 2021. The Company's intentions are to run the plant on natural gas and renew the supply agreement with its current natural gas supplier.

Sales

We are substantially dependent upon RPMG for the purchase, marketing and distribution of our ethanol, DDGS and corn oil. RPMG purchases 100% of the ethanol, DDGS and corn oil produced at our plant, all of which is marketed and distributed to its customers. Therefore, we are highly dependent on RPMG for the successful marketing of our ethanol, DDGS and corn oil. In the event that our relationship with RPMG is interrupted or terminated for any reason, we believe that we could locate another entity to market the ethanol, DDGS and corn oil. However, any interruption or termination of this relationship could temporarily disrupt the sale and production of ethanol, DDGS and corn oil and adversely affect our business and operations and potentially result in a higher cost to the Company. Amounts due from RPMG represent approximately 53% and 85% of the Company's outstanding trade receivables balance at September 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively. Approximately 90%, 93%, and 93% of revenues are comprised of sales to RPMG for the years ended September 30, 2021, September 30, 2020 and September 30, 2019, respectively.

3. REVENUE

Adoption of ASC 606

Effective October 1, 2018, the Company adopted ASC 606 using the modified retrospective approach for all of its contracts. Following the adoption of ASC 606, the Company continues to recognize revenue at a point-in-time when control of goods transfers to the customer. This is consistent with the Company's previous revenue recognition accounting policy under which the Company recognized revenue when title and risk of loss pass to the customer and collectability was reasonably assured. ASC 606 did not impact the Company's presentation of revenue on a gross or net basis. The Company recognizes revenue primarily from sales of ethanol and its related co-products. In addition, there was no impact of adoption on the statement of operations or balance sheet for the twelve months ended September 30, 2021. The Company expects the impact of adopting the new revenue standard to be immaterial to net income on an ongoing basis.

Revenue Recognition

The Company recognizes revenue from sales of ethanol and co-products at the point in time when the performance obligations in the contract are met, which is when the customer obtains control of such products and typically occurs upon shipment depending on the terms of the underlying contracts. Revenue is measured as the amount of consideration expected to be received in exchange for transferring goods or providing services. In some instances, the Company enters into contracts with customers that contain multiple performance obligations to deliver volumes of co-products over a contractual period of less than 12 months. The Company allocates the transaction price to each performance obligation identified in the contract based on relative standalone selling prices and recognizes the related revenue as control of each individual product is transferred to the customer in satisfaction of the corresponding performance obligation.

Revenue by Source

The following table disaggregates revenue by major source for the twelve months ended September 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019.
42

RED TRAIL ENERGY, LLC
NOTES TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
FOR THE YEARS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019

RevenuesFor the twelve months ended September 30, 2021 (audited)For the twelve months ended September 30, 2020 (audited)For the twelve months ended September 30, 2019 (audited)
Ethanol, E85 and Industrial Ethanol$91,624,027 $71,785,439 $80,552,074 
Distillers Grains21,221,826 18,209,005 20,060,802 
Syrup1,009,857 353,583 381,301 
Corn Oil5,070,067 3,631,755 2,507,184 
Other158,834 196,011 196,365 
Total revenue from contracts with customers$119,084,611 $94,175,793 $103,697,726 

Shipping and Handling Costs

We account for shipping and handling activities related to contracts with customers as costs to fulfill our promise to transfer the associated products. Accordingly, we record customer payments associated with shipping and handling costs as a component of revenue, and classify such costs as a component of cost of goods sold.

Customer Deposits

Customer deposits are contract liabilities for payments in excess of revenue recognized. Customer deposits are recognized when modified customers make prepayments on their contracts. The beginning and and ending balances for accounts receivable and customer deposits were as follows for the twelve months ended September 30, 2021, 2020, and 2019.

For the twelve months ended September 30, 2021 (audited)For the twelve months ended September 30, 2020 (audited)For the twelve months ended September 30, 2019 (audited)
Accounts receivable$1,468,521 $1,963,236 $3,910,384 
Customer deposits$11,008 $— $— 


4. DERIVATIVE INSTRUMENTS

Commodity Contracts

As part of its hedging strategy, the Company may enter into ethanol, soybean oil, and corn commodity-based derivatives in order to protect cash flows from fluctuations caused by volatility in commodity prices in order to protect gross profit margins from potentially adverse effects of market and price volatility on ethanol sales, corn oil sales, and corn purchase commitments where the prices are set at a future date. These derivatives are not designated as effective hedges for accounting purposes. For derivative instruments that are not accounted for as hedges, or for the ineffective portions of qualifying hedges, the change in fair value is recorded through earnings in the period of change. Ethanol derivative and soybean oil derivative fair market value gains or losses are included in the results of operations and are classified as revenue and corn derivative changes in fair market value are included in cost of goods sold.
As of:September 30, 2021September 30, 2020
Contract Type# of ContractsNotional Amount (Qty)Fair Value# of ContractsNotional Amount (Qty)Fair Value
Corn futures— — bushels$— 30 1,260,000 bushels$104,068 
Corn options— — bushels— 83 415,000 bushels(62,063)
Total fair value$— $42,005 

43

RED TRAIL ENERGY, LLC
NOTES TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
FOR THE YEARS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019

The following tables provide details regarding the Company's derivative financial instruments at September 30, 2021 and September 30, 2020:
Derivatives not designated as hedging instruments:
Balance Sheet - as of September 30, 2021AssetLiability
Commodity derivative instruments, at fair value$— $— 
Total derivatives not designated as hedging instruments for accounting purposes$— $— 
Balance Sheet - as of September 30, 2020AssetLiability
Commodity derivative instruments, at fair value$42,005 $— 
Total derivatives not designated as hedging instruments for accounting purposes$42,005 $— 
Statement of Operations Income/(expense)Location of gain (loss) in fair value recognized in incomeAmount of gain (loss) recognized in income during the year ended September 30, 2021Amount of gain (loss) recognized in income during the year ended September 30, 2020Amount of gain (loss) recognized in income during the year ended September 30, 2019
Corn derivative instrumentsCost of Goods Sold$1,367,491 $(455,197)$4,415,168 
Ethanol derivative instrumentsRevenue1,487,966 382,757 — 
Natural gas derivative instrumentsCost of Goods Sold1,410 (31,860)520 
Total$2,856,867 $(104,300)$4,415,688 

5. INVENTORY
Inventory is valued at lower of cost or net realizable value. Inventory values as of September 30, 2021 and September 30, 2020 were as follows:
As ofSeptember 30, 2021September 30, 2020
Raw materials, including corn, chemicals and supplies$3,978,299 $4,031,086 
Work in process1,321,862 765,673 
Finished goods, including ethanol and distillers grains4,622,007 3,914,117 
Spare parts1,624,674 1,426,996 
Total inventory$11,546,842 $10,137,872 

Lower of cost or net realizable value adjustments for the years ended September 30, 2021, and 2020 and 2019 were as follows:
For the year ended September 30, 2021For the year ended September 30, 2020For the year ended September 30, 2019
Loss on firm purchase commitments$184,000 $217,000 $92,000 
Loss on lower of cost or net realizable value adjustment for inventory on hand263,777 241,294 119,050 
Total loss on lower of cost or market adjustments$447,777 $458,294 $211,050 

The Company has entered into forward corn purchase contracts under which it is required to take delivery at the contract price. At the time the contracts were created, the price of the contract approximated market price. Subsequent changes in market conditions could cause the contract prices to become higher or lower than market prices. As of September 30, 2021 and 2020, the average price of corn purchased under certain fixed price contracts, that had not yet been delivered, was greater than approximated market price. Based on this information, the Company has an estimated loss on firm purchase commitments of $184,000 and $217,000 for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively. The loss is recorded in “Loss on
44

RED TRAIL ENERGY, LLC
NOTES TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
FOR THE YEARS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019

firm purchase commitments” on the statements of operations. The amount of the loss was determined by applying a methodology similar to that used in the impairment valuation with respect to inventory. Given the uncertainty of future ethanol prices, this loss may or may not be recovered, and further losses on the outstanding purchase commitments could be recorded in future periods.

The Company recorded inventory valuation impairments of $263,777 and $241,294 for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively. The impairments, as applicable, were attributable primarily to decreases in market prices of corn and ethanol. The inventory valuation impairment was recorded in “Lower of cost or net realizable value adjustment” on the statements of operations.

6. BANK FINANCING

On October 1, 2019, the Company terminated our $7 million Revolving Loan with U.S. Bank National Association ("U.S. Bank"). The maturity date of the Revolving Loan was May 31, 2020. The Company's ability to draw funds on the Revolving Loan was subject to a borrowing base calculation as set forth in the Credit Agreement.

On January 22, 2020, the Company entered into a new $10 million revolving loan (the "Revolving Loan") with Cornerstone Bank ("Cornerstone"). The Revolving Loan replaced a similar loan the Company had with U.S. Bank National Association. The maturity date of the Revolving Loan is January 21, 2022. At September 30, 2021, the Company had $10 million available on the Revolving Loan. The variable interest rate on September 30, 2021 was 3.00%.

On January 22, 2020, the Company entered into a $7 million construction loan (the "Construction Loan") with Cornerstone. The original maturity date of the Construction Loan was June 1, 2021. On June 3, 2021 we extended the maturity date to February 1, 2022. At September 30, 2021, the Company had $7 million available on the Construction Loan. The variable interest rate on September 30, 2021 was 3.00%.

On February 1, 2021, the Company entered into a $28 million construction loan (the "CCS Construction Loan") with Cornerstone for the carbon capture and storage project. The maturity date of the Construction Loan is January 31, 2022. At September 30, 2021, the Company had $28 million available on the CCS Construction Loan. The variable interest rate on September 30, 2021 was 3.00%.

On April 16, 2020, the Company received a Paycheck Protection Program Loan (the "PPP Loan") for $873,400 with Cornerstone. The maturity date of the PPP Loan is April 16, 2022. The fixed interest rate on September 30, 2021 was 1%. Under the terms of the loan, the Company applied for forgiveness of the entire amount of the PPP Loan on October 31, 2020, in accordance with PPP regulations, which provided for the possibility of loan forgiveness because the Company used all the proceeds of the PPP Loan for qualifying expenses in accordance with PPP requirements. The entire amount of the PPP Loan was forgiven on January 20, 2021. The forgiven amount was recorded as other income.

On July 13, 2020 the Company received a loan through the Bank of North Dakota Ethanol Recovery Program and Cornerstone Bank for $5.41 million. The Ethanol Recovery Program was developed by the North Dakota Ethanol Producers Association and the Bank of North Dakota to use the existing Biofuels Pace program and value-added loan guarantee program to help ethanol production facilities weather the pandemic economic challenges. Ethanol producers could qualify for up to $15 million dollars of a low interest loan of 1% based on the amount of annual corn grind. The maturity date of the loan is July 13, 2025. The fixed interest rate on September 30, 2021 was 3.75% with an interest rate buy down through the Bank of North Dakota to 1%.

45

RED TRAIL ENERGY, LLC
NOTES TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
FOR THE YEARS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019

The Company's loans are secured by a lien on substantially all of the assets of the Company.

Schedule of debt maturities for the twelve months ended September 30Totals
2022$719,233 
2023747,058 
2024775,652 
20252,365,663 
2026— 
Total$4,607,606 

7. FAIR VALUE MEASUREMENTS

The following table provides information on those assets and liabilities that are measured at fair value on a recurring basis as of September 30, 2021 and September 30, 2020, respectively.
Fair Value Measurement Using
Carrying Amount as of September 30, 2021Fair Value as of September 30, 2021Level 1Level 2Level 3
Assets
Commodities derivative instruments$— $— $— $— $— 
Fair Value Measurement Using
Carrying Amount as of September 30, 2020Fair Value as of September 30, 2020Level 1Level 2Level 3
Liabilities
Commodities derivative instruments$42,005 $42,005 $42,005 $— $— 

The fair value of the corn, ethanol and soybean oil derivative instruments is based on quoted market prices in an active market.

8. LEASES

Effective October 1, 2019, the Company adopted the provisions of ASU No. 2016-02, "Leases (topic 842)" using the modified retrospective approach which applies the provisions of ASU No. 2016-02 upon adoption, with no change to prior periods. This adoption resulted in the Company recognizing initial right of use assets and lease liabilities of $1,418,000. The adoption did not have a significant impact on the Company's statement of operations.

Upon the initial adoption of ASU No. 2016-02, the Company elected the following practical expedients allowable under the guidance: not to reassess whether any expired or existing contracts are or contain leases; not to reassess the lease classification for any expired or existing leases; not to reassess initial direct costs for any existing leases; not to separately identify lease and nonlease components; and not to evaluate historical land easements. Additionally, the Company elected the short-term lease exemption policy, applying the requirements of ASU No. 2016-02 to only long-term (greater than 1 year) leases.

The Company leases railcar and plant equipment. Operating lease right of use assets and liabilities are recognized at commencement date based on the present value of lease payments over the lease term. The Company uses its estimated incremental borrowing rate, unless an implicit rate is readily determinable, as the discount rate for each lease in determining the
46

RED TRAIL ENERGY, LLC
NOTES TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
FOR THE YEARS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019

present value of lease payments. For the twelve months ended September 30, 2021, the Company's estimated discount rate was 3.55%. Operating lease expense is recognized on a straight-line basis over the lease term.

The Company determines if an arrangement is a lease or contains lease at inception. The Company's leases have remaining lease terms of approximately 1 year to 4 years, which may include options to extend the lease when it is reasonably certain the Company will exercise those options. At September 30, 2021, the weighted average remaining lease term is 2 years. The Company does not have lease arrangements with residual value guarantees, sale leaseback terms or material restrictive covenants. The Company does not have any sublease agreements.

The Company is generally responsible for maintenance, taxes, and utilities for leased equipment. Rent expense for operating leases was approximately $750,000 for the year ended September 30, 2021, $701,000 for the year ended September 30, 2020 and $656,000 for the year ended September 30, 2019.

Equipment under financing leases consists of office equipment and plant equipment. Equipment under financing leases is as follows at:
As ofSeptember 30, 2021September 30, 2020
Equipment$493,414 $493,414 
Less accumulated amortization(196,389)(172,944)
Net equipment under finance lease$297,025 $320,470 

At September 30, 2021, the Company had the following minimum commitments, which at inception had non-cancelable terms of more than one year. Amounts shown below are for the years ending September 30:
Operating LeasesFinancing Leases
2022$372,987 $4,542 
2023311,741 4,576 
202478,119 4,611 
2025— 680 
2026— — 
Total minimum lease commitments$762,847 14,409 
Less amount representing interest— 
Present value of minimum lease commitments included in current maturities of notes payable on the balance sheet$14,409 

9. MEMBERS' EQUITY

The Company has one class of membership units outstanding (Class A) with each unit representing a pro rata ownership interest in the Company's capital, profits, losses and distributions. As of September 30, 2021, 2020, and 2019 there were 40,148,160 units issued and outstanding, respectively. The Company held a total of 140,000 treasury units as of September 30, 2021, 2020, and 2019, respectively.

Total units authorized are 40,288,160 as of September 30, 2021, 2020, and 2019.


47

RED TRAIL ENERGY, LLC
NOTES TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
FOR THE YEARS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019

10. COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES

Firm Purchase Commitments

Corn

To ensure an adequate supply of corn to operate the Plant, the Company enters into contracts to purchase corn from local farmers and elevators. At September 30, 2021, the Company had various fixed price contracts for the purchase of approximately 5.7 million bushels of corn. Using the stated contract price for the fixed price contracts, the Company had commitments of approximately $34.4 million related to the 5.7 million bushels under contract.

Water

To meet the plant's water requirements, we entered into a ten-year contract with Southwest Water Authority to purchase raw water.  Our contract requires us to purchase a minimum of 160 million gallons of water per year. The minimum estimated liability for this contract is $424,000 per year.

Profit and Cost Sharing Agreement

The Company has entered into a Profit and Cost Sharing Agreement with Bismarck Land Company, LLC which became effective on November 1, 2016. The Profit and Cost Sharing Agreement provides that the Company will share 70% of the net proceeds received by the company from business activities which are brought to the Company by Bismarck Land Company, LLC and conducted on the real estate purchased from the Bismarck Land Company, LLC. The real estate was initially purchased in exchange for 2 million membership units at $1.66 per unit. This obligation will terminate ten years after the real estate closing date of October 11, 2016 or after Bismarck Land Company, LLC receives $10 million in proceeds from the agreement. In addition, the Company will pay Bismarck Land Company, LLC 70% of any net proceeds received by the Company from the sale of the subject real estate if a sale were to occur in the future, subject to the $10 million cap and the 10 year termination of this obligation. The Company has paid Bismarck Land Company, LLC $28,315 as of September 30, 2021.

Carbon Capture and Storage Project

The Company has entered into a research agreement with the University of North Dakota Energy and Environmental Research Center to explore the feasibility of injecting CO2 from the fermentation process into a saline formation to lower the carbon intensity value of our ethanol. The Company committed to fund up to $950,000 for this research. The Company had incurred $949,631 through the 3rd quarter of the 2020 fiscal year which is recorded as consulting services under general and administrative expenses. The commitment was fully paid as of September 30, 2021.

On October 1, 2020, the Company entered into an agreement with Salof LTD, Inc. for the design, engineering, fabrication and start up of the CO2 capture and liquefaction facility for the carbon capture and storage project. The price of the system including all equipment and services is $11,845,000. The Company has paid $9,739,222 as of September 30, 2021 which is recorded as construction in progress.

On May 6, 2021, the Company entered into an agreement with Direct Automation for the DCS Computer System for the carbon capture and storage project. The price of the system including all equipment and installation is $800,992. The Company has paid $779,895 as of September 30, 2021 which is recorded as construction in progress.

As of September 30, 2021 the Company has paid a total of $22.5 million towards the Carbon Capture and Storage Project, which is recorded as construction in progress. The remaining cost to complete the Carbon Capture and Storage Project is roughly $5.7 million.

Industrial Alcohol Project

On October 6, 2020, the Company entered into an agreement with Praj Industries Limited to purchase a 25 million gallon per year Eco-Smart Distillation unit to produce United States Pharmacopeia ("USP") grade alcohol. The price of the system is $2,659,500. The Company has paid the full balance as of September 30, 2021 which is recorded as construction in progress.

48

RED TRAIL ENERGY, LLC
NOTES TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
FOR THE YEARS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019

On April 13, 2021, the Company entered into an agreement with Tooz Construction, Inc. for the construction of the building foundation for the new distillation building for the Eco-Smart Distillation unit. The price of materials and labor is $335,021. The Company has paid $285,503 as of September 30, 2021 which is recorded as construction in progress.

On May 6, 2021, the Company entered into an agreement with Direct Automation for the DCS Computer System upgrade for the industrial alcohol project. The price of the system including all equipment and installation is $182,322. The Company has paid $171,412 as of September 30, 2021 which is recorded as construction in progress.

As of September 30, 2021 the Company has paid a total of $6.64 million towards the Industrial Alcohol Project, which is recorded as construction in progress. The remaining cost to complete the Industrial Alcohol Project is roughly $1.1 million.

11. DEFINED CONTRIBUTION RETIREMENT PLAN 

The Company established a 401k retirement plan for its employees effective January 1, 2011. The Company matches employee contributions to the plan up to 4% of employee's gross income. The Company contributed approximately $130,000, $134,000, and $136,000 to the 401k plan for the years ended September 30, 2021 and 2020, and 2019, respectively.

12. RELATED-PARTY TRANSACTIONS

The Company has balances and transactions in the normal course of business with various related parties for the purchase of corn, sale of distillers grains and sale of ethanol. The related parties include unit holders, members of the board of governors of the Company, and our third party marketer, RPMG, Inc. (“RPMG”) whom we have an ownership interest in. Significant related party activity affecting the financial statements is as follows:
September 30, 2021September 30, 2020
Balance Sheet
Accounts receivable$1,309,673 $1,777,576 
Accounts Payable788,050 188,457 
Accrued Expenses832,904 650,833 
For the year ended September 30, 2021For the year ended September 30, 2020For the year ended September 30, 2019
Statement of Operations
Revenues$107,501,604 $83,637,691 $96,889,681 
Cost of goods sold1,851,143 2,013,630 1,045,804 
General and administrative169,910 166,991 216,331 
Other income /expense— 119,825 267,111 
Inventory Purchases$14,080,623 $21,095,195 $15,770,447 

13. SUBSEQUENT EVENTS

On December 3, 2021 the Company received a pay down of $2.65 million towards the Ethanol Recovery Program loan. See Note 6.


14. UNCERTAINTIES IMPACTING THE ETHANOL INDUSTRY AND OUR FUTURE OPERATIONS

The Company has certain risks and uncertainties that it experiences during volatile market conditions, which can have a severe impact on operations. The Company's revenues are derived from the sale and distribution of ethanol and distillers grains to customers primarily located in the United States. Corn for the production process is supplied to the plant primarily from local agricultural producers and from purchases on the open market. The Company's operating and financial performance is largely
49

RED TRAIL ENERGY, LLC
NOTES TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
FOR THE YEARS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019

driven by prices at which the Company sells ethanol and distillers grains and by the cost at which it is able to purchase corn for operations. The price of ethanol is influenced by factors such as prices, supply and demand, weather, government policies and programs, and unleaded gasoline and the petroleum markets, although since 2005 the prices of ethanol and gasoline began a divergence with ethanol selling for less than gasoline at the wholesale level. Excess ethanol supply in the market, in particular, puts downward pressure on the price of ethanol. The Company's largest cost of production is corn. The cost of corn is generally impacted by factors such as supply and demand, weather, government policies and programs. The Company's risk management program is used to protect against the price volatility of these commodities.

The Company's financial performance is highly dependent on the Federal Renewable Fuels Standard ("RFS") which requires that a certain amount of renewable fuels must be used each year in the United States. Corn based ethanol, such as the ethanol the Company produces, can be used to meet a portion of the RFS requirement. In November 2013, the EPA issued a proposed rule which would reduce the RFS for 2014, including the RFS requirement related to corn based ethanol. The EPA proposed rule was subject to a comment period which expired in January 2014. On November 30, 2015, the EPA released its final ethanol use requirements for 2014, 2015 and 2016 which are lower than the statutory requirements in the RFS. In addition, on May 31, 2016, the EPA issued a proposed renewable volume obligation for 2017 of 14.8 billion gallons of conventional biofuels, still lower than the statutory requirement in the RFS. However, the final RFS for 2017 equaled the statutory requirement which was also the case for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 RFS final rules. On December 7, 2021, the EPA released a proposed rule regarding renewable volume obligations which was lower than the statutory amount for 2021 and proposes to reopen and reduce the renewable volume obligation for 2020.

The Company anticipates that the results of operations during fiscal 2022 will be affected by volatility in the commodity markets. The volatility is due to various factors, including uncertainty with respect to the availability and supply of corn due to increased demand for grain from global and national markets, the severe drought in Western North Dakota for the 2021 crop year, speculation in the commodity markets, and demand for corn from the ethanol industry.

15. QUARTERLY FINANCIAL DATA (UNAUDITED)

Summary quarter results are as follows:

50

RED TRAIL ENERGY, LLC
NOTES TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
FOR THE YEARS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019

Year Ended September 30, 2021First QuarterSecond QuarterThird QuarterFourth Quarter
Revenues$27,557,555 $34,264,089 $42,741,846 $14,521,121 
Gross profit (loss)3,653,352 6,125,603 10,370,203 (5,180,048)
Operating income (loss)2,243,816 5,215,440 9,516,024 (5,245,415)
Net income (loss)2,265,694 6,093,896 9,505,434 (5,239,345)
Net income (loss) per unit-basic and diluted0.06 0.15 0.24 (0.13)
Year Ended September 30, 2020First QuarterSecond QuarterThird QuarterFourth Quarter
Revenues$26,340,913 $23,638,144 $22,670,742 $21,525,994 
Gross profit (loss)(498,570)(2,369,704)3,449,833 3,459,545 
Operating income (loss)(1,298,075)(3,394,168)2,177,135 2,226,388 
Net income (loss)(1,251,913)(3,235,994)2,204,564 2,289,931 
Net income (loss) per unit-basic and diluted(0.03)(0.08)0.05