Nebraska is poised to add ethanol to its supply for the first time.
The state’s Agriculture Department announced on Thursday that the Pinnacle Farm Co. had signed a contract to purchase Nebraska corn and ethanol.
Pinnacle Farm has already purchased about 70 million gallons of ethanol from the Nebraska ethanol program, which is the state’s largest source of corn.
The corn purchased by Pinnacle will be blended with corn sold by Nebraska Farmers Markets, which will also receive the ethanol.
The deal is a boost to the state as it struggles to meet a drought emergency and a shortage of corn is driving prices higher.
Pascal Cogswell, a Pinnacle executive vice president, said the purchase would help Pinnacle meet the federal ethanol mandate, which requires corn to meet certain ethanol levels.
Pinnacle plans to produce ethanol in Nebraska and export it.
Purity and quality matters to Pinnacle, which plans to import its corn from Canada, Cogspell said.
Paddock Corn Co. is one of two Omaha-based ethanol producers to be bought by Paddy’s Crop.
The other, Corn City, has also bought the Nebraska corn ethanol program.
The Omaha-area company, which also produces corn ethanol and corn seed, has had its share of issues in recent years.
Corn prices have dropped more than 50 percent since late 2015.
The company also had to pay $1.6 million in penalties after the USDA found that the company improperly sold ethanol to farmers.