Last week a few SD Soybean directors were down in Phoenix for the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Conference. This years conference focused on a number of issues affecting the biodiesel industry, including the Renewable Fuel Standard and restoration of the biodiesel tax incentive. Here are a few key takeaways from the meeting:
- South Dakota soybean farmer, Bob Metz serves on the National Biodiesel Board, as well as the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council. At this year’s National Biodiesel Conference, Bob discussed the focus of this years event.
- Renewable Fuels Standard: In July the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the expanded Renewable Fuels Standard (RSF2), requiring the domestic use of 800 million gallons of biodiesel in 2011. RFS2 provides specific volume requirements for Advanced Biofuels such as Cellulosic Biofuels, Biomass-based Diesel and undifferentiated Advanced Biofuels.2011 is on track to bring record biodiesel sales. Petroleum companies and other obligated parties are using biodiesel to fill the RFS2 requirements. RFS2 coupled with the reinstated biodiesel tax incentive will make biodiesel sales climb.
- ADVANCE: Advance was the over-arching theme of this years conference. Today, biodiesel is the only widely, accepted, commercial scale Advanced Biofuel produced in the U.S. that meets the definition of Biomass-based Diesel and undifferentiated Advanced Biofuels under the RFS2 program. As the first commercially available advanced biofuel available in the U.S., biodiesel plays an important role to cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
- Food AND Fuel: It doesnt have to be one or the other. A soybean is made up of about 80% meal, and 20% oil. Processing biodiesel from soybeans uses only the oil portion of the soybean, leaving all of the protein available to nourish livestock and humans. By creating a new market for soybean oil, we increase the availability of protein-rich meal for human and livestock consumption. The increased meal supply results in a more cost-effective food and feed source.Biodiesel helps support domestic soybean prices, but does not cause food prices to rice. The following graph displays the relationship between U.S. food prices and U.S. soybean prices.