Iowa, Neb. ethanol output cut amid drought worry
Renewable fuel industries in Iowa and Nebraska remain strong at a time of conflict over whether more corn and soybeans should be diverted from biodiesel and ethanol production to livestock feed and other uses to keep food prices down.
The plants that make ethanol from corn in the nation's top two producing states are voluntarily slowing production as corn prices climb and supplies tighten in the worst drought in decades.
Iowa's 41 ethanol plants and Nebraska's 24 are still in production but have slowed output. On average ethanol plants have cut production about 20 to 30 percent.
Iowa's 10 biodiesel plants, which use soybeans, are on track to produce a record 200 million gallons this year at the current pace. Nebraska has no full-scale biodiesel plants in operation.