Farmers’ loyalty to Trump tested over new corn-ethanol rules

LACONA, Iowa (AP) — When President Donald Trump ordered tariffs on China that scrambled global grain markets, many U.S. farmers were willing to absorb the financial hit.

But the patience of Midwest farmers with a president they mostly supported in 2016 is being newly tested.

The administration has now granted waivers to 31 more oil refineries so they don’t have to blend ethanol into their gasoline. Given that roughly 40% of U.S. corn is processed into ethanol, that’s a fresh blow to producers struggling with low prices and potentially mediocre harvests.

Nebraska farmer Lynn Chrisp, president of the National Corn Growers Association, calls it “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in Illinois Wednesday that Trump will take action to soften the effects, but there are no details.

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