Biofuel makers in Iowa are gearing up for a long and difficult recovery period as they deal with the demand shock of the COVID-19 crisis and continue to fight battles over trade policies and how federal agencies administer the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

But the state’s biofuel plants — 43 ethanol refineries and 11 biodiesel refineries — are resilient, increasingly efficient and set up for long-term success, according to Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

“Our members are just rolling up their sleeves and working to get through this tough situation,” said Shaw, a Shenandoah native who has been working in the biofuels industry for more than 20 years. “That’s what biofuel producers do. It’s what farmers do, and quite frankly, that’s what most Americans are doing through this difficult time.”

A healthy and thriving biofuels industry is critical for Iowa farmers, and for the entire...