Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach is in Nebraska this week surveying weather-related damage and talking with affected farmers and ranchers. The impact of the flooding on ethanol production was brought up during a Facebook Live roundtable with Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts on Monday.
“We are aware at USDA that many of the railroad lines are shut down and the main issue is the backup of being able to get the ethanol out,” said Ibach. “We’re monitoring that.”
While there are indemnity programs for livestock losses and other USDA programs in place to help producers, Ibach said he is not aware of any programs that would help ethanol plants. “That is a compounding problem too because many of Nebraska’s livestock producers rely on distillers grains to use as a livestock feed and as those plants idle, that reduces the amount of feedstuffs available for producers,” he added.
Listen to a segment of the roundtable where participants including Ibach, Troy Brandenkamp with Renewable Fuels Nebraska, and Governor Ricketts, comment on the impact of the flooding on the ethanol industry.Ethanol comments during Nebraska governor roundtable
Listen to opening remarks from Gov. Ricketts, Ibach, and state Director of Agriculture Steve Wellman:
Nebraska Gov. Ricketts, USDA Under Secretary Ibach, State Ag Director Steve Wellman