Biodiesel returns

Biodiesel returns

Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 8:02 pm

An updated, independent study funded by the United Soybean Board (USB) and soybean checkoff shows production of biodiesel continues to positively impact U.S. soybean farmers’ on-farm profitability as well as the bottom lines of poultry and livestock farmers. 

According to the study, the biodiesel industry’s demand for U.S. soybean oil supported U.S. soybean prices by as much as 27 cents per bushel over the past five years, bringing U.S. soybean farmers an additional $2.7 billion in net returns. 

The study also found good news for the U.S. soybean industry’s biggest customer, the U.S. animal agriculture sector, which uses nearly 98 percent of the domestic supply of U.S. soybean meal. The increased demand for soybean oil resulted in a larger supply of U.S. soybean meal, decreasing feed prices paid by U.S. poultry, livestock and fish farmers by between $16 and $48 per ton in marketing years 2005-2009.

Soybean oil remains the dominant feedstock for biodiesel production, and the soybean checkoff funds a large portion of the research and promotion of biodiesel through the National Biodiesel Board. 

Much of this funding has been used on testing to prove biodiesel’s performance, economic and environmental benefits. 

Biodiesel improves fuel lubricity by 66 percent compared with petroleum diesel and performs similarly to petroleum diesel in terms of torque, horsepower, haulage rates and fuel mileage. 

Additionally, biodiesel bolsters the U.S. economy, supporting more than 20,000 jobs and generating more than $800 million in tax revenue as recently as 2009. 

wcp 3/29/11

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