Soybean growers say their crop is being unfairly maligned in the Food-versus-Fuel debate. Members of the United Soybean Board gathered in Indianapolis, Indiana this week, and part of what they are discussing is how to counter arguments supporting that viewpoint.
Gary Truitt’s Hoosier Ag Today has more details from the meeting:
During the discussion, there was considerable debate on how the soybean industry should respond to the Food vs. Fuel issue. Karen Fear from Montpelier, IN, said soy-biodiesel is being unfairly criticized, “We need to get the word out so that people back this more.” Jack Reed from Washington County said the soybean is a perfect example of how farmers can produce both food and fuel, “When you take the oil out of the soybean you will have 80% of the soybean left which is meal.” From that meal, you can make livestock feed and a variety of human food needs. Reed said it is not an either or situation.
Indiana USB representative Jim Schriver said, unlike ethanol, very little of soybean production is going into fuel production, “Only about 2% of our soybean production goes into fuel production.” He said the real issue is the price of oil. Not only is the high price of oil causing energy prices to rise, but it has caused a dramatic increase in soybean oil demand.
The story goes on to point out how this country is trying to find an alternative to outrageously high-priced petroleum… and soybean oil is a viable alternative. In addition, farmers are large users of energy, so why shouldn’t they be producing some of what they are using. Amen to that!