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Ear of corn

President Donald Trump received a rare rebuke from Nebraska agriculture on Thursday that questioned whether the Republican president is really "on our side."

The Nebraska Corn Board and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association issued a joint statement criticizing the Trump administration for continuing to issue oil refinery waivers that thwart ethanol production and for a trade policy that they said has damaged agriculture. 

"Many of our corn farmers have stood with Trump for a long time, but that may soon change," Dan Nerud, a Dorchester farmer and president of the 2,400-member Nebraska Corn Growers Association, said in a release.

"All we're getting is lip service," David Bruntz, a Friend farmer and chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board, said.

"At one moment, we think President Trump is on our side and then the refinery waivers come through. It's truly a slap in the face.

"Farmers are hurting," Bruntz said, "and it just keeps getting worse."

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"As harvest approaches after an extremely difficult year for agriculture, many Nebraska corn farmers are outraged by the Trump administration's lack of support for the American farmer," a joint news release stated.

"President Trump's administration continues to erode the Renewable Fuel Standard by granting 31 unjustified refinery waivers, destroying demand for corn and ultimately choosing to bail out the oil industry rather than helping American farmers.

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"Corn farmers are already suffering from ongoing trade disputes, uncertain weather and continued low prices.

"Rural America is under attack and now is the time to act," the statement concluded. 

The Renewable Fuel Standard requires refiners to blend biofuels like corn-based ethanol into their fuel production. 

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSDon.

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