The longtime and still primary feedstock for biodiesel has received a bump up in its demand and value. Figures from the United Soybean Board show that in order to meet this year’s federal requirement of 1.28 billion gallons of the green fuel this year, it will take 9 billion pounds of vegetable oils and animal fats, with a majority, at least 4.8 billion pounds, coming from soybean oil. That equals out to 430 million bushels of American soybeans.
“There’s value for soybean farmers from the growing market use of soybean oil for biodiesel,” says Gregg Fujan, a USB director and soybean farmer from Weston, Neb. “It expands the market for our soybeans, which also increases the price we receive.”
According to research commissioned by soybean farmers in Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota through their state soy checkoff boards, biodiesel contributed to a $15 billion increase in soybean-oil revenues between 2006 and 2012. Over that time period, this raised the price of soybeans by 74 cents per bushel.
Biodiesel already qualifies as the Nation’s first EPA-approved Advanced Biofuel. Guess that makes soybeans the first advanced feedstock.