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widespread flooding throughout the Midwest has ravaged America's farmland and is now rippling through another industry ethanol the US has some two hundred ethanol plants capable of producing over a million barrels a day but about thirteen percent has been taken off the line due to the floods according to three traders who track operations plants in Nebraska Iowa and South Dakota have been forced to shut down or scale back production following the devastation in Nebraska alone crop damage has exceeded four hundred million dollars according to state officials what production facilities owned by large companies were still operating despite the record floods with the rail lines that transport ethanol washed out and corn in storage ruined production is dropping off sending prices spiking in markets that by that fuel the disruption comes as the ethanol industry is in the midst of a historic down swing due to the ongoing trade conflict with China and sluggish domestic demand growth leading to high inventories and weak margins the floods will boost margins for those still operating but could be punishing for firms who are digging out from the water and experts say it may be weeks before the full scope of the floods impact is known