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Adding value to soybeans“

By Staff | Apr 15, 2016

To the editor:

As soybean producers, it’s a smart decision to fuel up with energy that comes from the soybeans we grow.

Biodiesel production contributes 63 cents to the market value of each bushel of soybeans. That’s the definition of value-added and it’s always important, especially at a time when cash prices are below the cost of production, as they currently are for most producers.

But that’s just one of several examples that prove biodiesel’s worth.

Home-grown biodiesel provides farmers with a very positive environmental story to share. The production and use of renewables makes the air cleaner and we should be proud of this.

For the third consecutive year, for example, atmospheric carbon was reduced due to the use of biodiesel – in 2015 alone, the decrease was 18.2 million tons.

Overall, using biodiesel cuts greenhouse gas emissions by up to 81 percent.

Other positive outcomes from using biodiesel are:

  • Reduces the overall cost of fuel due to greater competition and the availability of local fuel stocks.
  • Makes us less dependent on foreign oil, thus improving our nation’s overall security.
  • Boosts America’s economy by sustaining 65,000 jobs nationally.
  • Proven to have a positive impact for livestock farmers by increasing the value of the oil in soybeans, thus reducing the cost of soybean meal, a primary ingredient for livestock producers.

Finally, farmers benefit from using biodiesel given that consumption of renewable fuels helps lower energy prices. This is important to the farmer because 70 percent of farm inputs are tied to energy. For example, the cost of fertilizer, chemicals, diesel fuel, production and moving inputs all impact profitability. With biodiesel now directly linked to energy, a hedge against energy inflation is created for the farmer.

Last year, more than 2 billion gallons of biodiesel were used, a new record. But we can do better – and boost soybean prices even more – if you join me and thousands of other farmers in using biodiesel on your farm. Put biodiesel to work on your farm whenever you can as doing so is good for you, your family and community and our future.

When you make a decision on your next fuel purchase for your farm, make it soy-based biodiesel. If your fuel supplier doesn’t provide biodiesel, ask that they do. If they don’t, take control and choose another vendor. For more information, go to www.biodiesel.org you’ll be impressed by biodiesel’s story and how its use benefits our country, your farm and you.

Ed Ulch

Solon

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