May is Renewable Fuels Month in Nebraska, and the benefits of cleaner-burning fuels go beyond what’s available at the pump. Soybean oil makes up more than 50 percent of the feedstock for biodiesel production, which helps Nebraska farmers, as well as livestock and poultry producers in a couple of ways.
First, a growing demand in biodiesel production has given soybean producers a greater return for every bushel harvested. According to the United Soybean Board, biodiesel helped increase soybean value by 63 cents per bushel between 2006 and 2015. During that time, farmers received $18.8 billion dollars in additional revenue for their soybean oil.
Livestock and poultry producers have also benefitted from biodiesel production through reduced costs of soybean meal used for animal feed. As the demand for soybean oil in biodiesel production increases, so does the supply of soybean meal. This lowered meal prices for livestock producers by as much as $48 per ton between 2005 and 2009.
The Nebraska Soybean Board (NSB) continues to invest checkoff dollars to ensure these benefits to ag producers continue. Executive Director Victor Bohuslavsky says the organization has been at the forefront of developing new markets for biodiesel to help increase demand for soybean oil.
“Several years ago, the NSB invested checkoff dollars into research on the use of biodiesel blends in heating oil,” said Bohuslavsky. “Today that investment is paying off in New York City where more of the fuel, known as Bioheat, is now used for heating oil.”
NSB has also invested in making biodiesel more available in the state by offering grant dollars to fuel retailers interested in installing blending infrastructure. For a list of biodiesel retailers in Nebraska, please visit biodieselne.com.
Biodiesel is the first and only fuel commercially available nationwide that meets the EPA’s definition of an Advanced Biofuel, which requires greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced by at least 50 percent. Biodiesel is currently available in all 50 states and more locations are offering the renewable fuel each year.