Biodiesel’s Positive Impact On Soybean Farmers

Biodiesel fuel positively impacts the US economy, especially soybean growers. Biodiesel; a renewable fuel made from combining a wide range of recycled cooking oil, animal fats, and vegetable oils. Research from the United Soybean Board reveals despite Biodiesel having similar physical properties to petroleum diesel, it is a cleaner-burning alternative, and significantly reduces lifecycle carbon emissions by up to 86% compared to petroleum. It also reduces emissions of toxic air pollutants in older on-road vehicles as well as many off-road vehicles and machinery, including those used for farming and production. Research from the United Soybean Board revealed 15.5 billion gallons of biodiesel used through 2017 cut lifecycle greenhouse gasses by 143 metric tons – which is equivalent to removing 30.6 passenger vehicles off US roadways.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Association, (E.I.A) biodiesel production utilizes nearly 5.6 billion pounds of soybean oil, making it the most commonly used vegetable oil in production. Soybean oil is the most utilized as the feedstocks are produced in the Midwest, where more than half of the Nation’s biodiesel production exists. According to the 2019 US Biodiesel Plant Production Capacity Report, of the top 15 biodiesel-producing states, nine are located in the Midwest. 

Tim Ostrem, a director for the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, explains the domestic use for biodiesel is growing due to the environmental benefits. Ostrem stated in 2017, US consumers used nearly 2 billion gallons of biodiesel, which accounted for more than a quarter of all soybean use in the U.S. 

Facts from the United Soybean Board state “the increase in demand for biodiesel results in an increase in demand for, and value of, US soybean oil by 11 cents per pound and 63 cents to every bushel of soybeans.” Due to the increased demand and production of biodiesel and soybean oil, the price of soybean meal lowered by nearly $48 per ton, benefiting poultry and livestock farmers who use soybean meal for animal feed. Biodiesel supports more than 62,000 jobs across several industries.

Learn more about the positive impact of biodiesel here: