PRIMAR, Iowa (KCAU) –Siouxland farmers say they are just weeks away from harvest. Many are excited that not only is grain prices getting better, but the demand for corn is up too.
Over the past year, Siouxland Energy Cooperative was forced to shut down twice, once when small refinery waivers were passed in 2019 and most recently when the demand for gas dropped because of COVID-19.
“There was a lot of demand destruction from prior small refinery exemptions and this basically sets precedents that the small refinery exemptions there are very, very, few oil refineries that will qualify going forward,” said Nieuwenhuis.
Kelly Nieuwenhuis is the President of Siouxland Energy. He has been lobbying for the biofuel industry.
“In Iowa, 40% of the corn we produce goes through an ethanol facility and that is huge, that is a huge demand part not only for farmers but rural jobs. You know, we have very good employees at ethanol plants, they are good-paying jobs,” said Nieuwenhuis.
“The numbers have amounted to almost a billion bushels of corn per year and if we had had that demand for corn, our corn price would probably a dollar a bushel higher and that would make it profitable for farmers to raise corn rather than negative the way it is now,” said Daryl Haack.
Daryl Haack is a Siouxland farmer and a member of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. He says things are looking up.
“Right after COVID started, we were down about 40% on the use of ethanol. Now, we are down to 8% less than last year so it has come back up quite a bit,” said Haack.
Farmers also expressed excitement over a weekend tweet by President Trump, talking about changes in EPA rules and making it possible for states to choose a 15% blend of ethanol over the current 10% blend.
This too would grow the demand for ethanol and corn.