Biodiesel Pushes Up Soybean Use, Producers’ Profits

John Davis

USBlogoGood news for biodiesel means good news for the growers of its main feedstock, soybeans. This article from KTIC says last year’s biodiesel production of 1.36 billion gallons of biodiesel in 2013, 37 percent more than in 2012, means 468 million bushels of U.S. soybeans were squeezed to get that feedstock oil. And that has pushed up soybean prices by 74 cents per bushel between 2006 and 2012.

Rob Hanks, United Soybean Board director and a soybean farmer from Le Roy, Minnesota, says he’s thrilled to see biodiesel bring such a major return on investment back to the U.S. soybean farmers who helped start the industry and have continued to support it ever since.

“U.S. soybean farmers have been very supportive of biodiesel for more than 20 years,” he says. “It’s really gratifying to see those farmers reaping the benefits of that support.”

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, or 74 cents per bushel, between 2006 and 2012.

Hanks also points out that using soybean oil for biodiesel supports the U.S. animal agriculture sector. As the biodiesel industry’s demand for soybean oil rises, so does the supply of soybean meal. That larger supply reduces the prices poultry and livestock farmers pay for feed.

The good relationship between bean farmers and the National Biodiesel Board has meant a good number of soy checkoff dollars have been put back into biodiesel research.

Biodiesel, Soybeans