Illinois Soybean Farmers to Benefit from Growth in Biodiesel Production

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) and its members were encouraged after reviewing the latest U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monthly biodiesel production numbers. Released in late May, the April production figures reflected significant growth over the prior 12-month period. This increase indicates that the industry is well on its way to meeting the EPA's new renewable fuel standards for usage requirements (RFS-2), which in turn increases demand for Illinois-grown soybeans.

"When the RFS-2 became public, we were cautiously optimistic about the positive effect it could have on biodiesel production," explained ISA District 15 Director Lyle Wessel. "We know higher production means more demand for the soybeans we grow, and after seeing these numbers, we are confident the trend will continue!"

The EPA's RFS-2 requires that at least 800 million gallons of biomass-based diesel fuel be produced this year – the first full year that it is in effect. The EPA Moderated Transaction System (EMTS) enables the government to track these renewable fuels. According to the latest EMTS report, more than 2.1 million gallons have been produced so far this year. This amount puts the industry at approximately 27 percent of goal a mere four months into the year.

"This is a significant accomplishment," Wessel added. "After the Federal Biodiesel Blender's Credit expired in 2009, production dropped by almost 50 percent within the first month. Now that the credit has been reinstated and the RFS-2 enacted, we are seeing production levels we haven't seen since December of 2009."

Biodiesel is a clean-burning, renewable fuel, produced from domestic, replenishable resources like soybeans and some non-food crops. Biodiesel contains no petroleum, but it can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel to create an alternative fuel blend for use in diesel engines with little or no modifications. Biodiesel from soybeans not only helps reduce our nation's dependency on foreign oil but also results in fewer emissions and improves vehicle performance. For more information about soy biodiesel and its benefits, please visit www.getb11.info.

About the Illinois Soybean Association

The Illinois Soybean Association is the statewide organization for Illinois soybean growers.  The farmers on its board administer soybean checkoff funds to support research, promotions, and educational programs designed to increase demand for Illinois soybeans and administer legislation and membership programs. For more information, visit: www.ilsoy.org.