Farmers with the United Soybean Board (USB) recently got a history lesson of how one of their products helped the biodiesel industry … an industry that is paying dividends back to those farmers in the form of better prices for their beans. AgriNews tells how during the USB’s See for Yourself program, those farmers heard from Steve Rober, Schaeffer Oil national sales manager, how their checkoff dollars helped the fledgling biodiesel industry take off:
Among other products, Schaeffer produces a diesel fuel additive designed to make engines run more efficiently. An ad in a trade publication touting the product — SoyShield — caught the eye of someone at the National Biodiesel Board.
Rober told the group that the biodiesel board was working on receiving federal tax incentives for biodiesel, which was much more expensive than petroleum diesel. The board wanted to go after the trucking market, but officials at Schaeffer recommended instead that the product be marketed to farmers.
“We took a product that was 50 percent petroleum, and we substituted biodiesel into that product and made the first biodiesel-based fuel additive in the country,” Rober said.
“The National Biodiesel Board used checkoff dollars to fund research and development of this. They did the research and got all the data to make claims that were verified by science.”
The article goes on to say that once that market was found, Congress started providing subsidies for biodiesel, making the green fuel affordable and giving the fledgling fuel the boost it needed. And that is paying off boosting a bunch of bottom lines for soybean farmers.