Ag News

Area Farmers Warn Trump’s 2020 Election Hangs On Ethanol Decision

Northwest Iowa — Ethanol industry leaders say there will be price, storage and political ramifications if President Trump fails to act within the next two weeks, and force oil refineries to blend more ethanol into gasoline.

Kelly Nieuwenhuis is president of the board for the Siouxland Energy plant in Sioux Center that has temporarily shut down. He says Trump’s “political future” in Iowa rides on addressing the ethanol waivers granted to oil refineries.

Primghar farmer Daryl Haack says he and the other members of the Little Sioux Corn Processors board are “staunch Republicans” who are losing patience with Trump on this issue.

Haack says farmers understand and support the president’s use of tariffs with trade negotiations, but they “do not understand this give-away to the oil companies.” The ethanol industry organized a telephone conference call Wednesday to discuss what it called the “economic crisis” in corn country. Participants said with ethanol plants closed or reducing production, there won’t be enough elevator or on-farm bins to store this fall’s Iowa corn harvest. And that will reduce corn prices. The group also warned banks are balking at loaning money to ethanol plants.