Autumn means different things to different people. The end of summer. The start of school. The return of football.
It can also literally mean the time of gathering crops. The word “harvest” comes from an Old English word meaning “autumn.” And here in the Midwest, where REG has its headquarters, autumn is strongly associated with the harvesting of crops from the field.
Biodiesel owes a lot to American agriculture. The clean-burning diesel replacement is made from a diverse mix of feedstocks that come from farm products, including vegetable oils, animal fats and recycled cooking oil.
Biodiesel also gives back to farmers. For example, biodiesel increased Iowa farmer income by nearly $1.5 billion in 2012, according to a report titled “Impact of Biodiesel on the Iowa Agriculture Economy.” Without the Iowa biodiesel industry
- Iowa soybean prices would have been 8.3 percent lower.
- Iowa corn prices would have been 5.4 percent lower.
- Iowa beef cattle and hog prices would have been 1 percent lower.
The benefits are realized nationwide. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that biodiesel adds roughly $32,823 in profit to a 1,000-acre farm.
Biodiesel is also good for the environment, something that’s critical for farmers, who need clean soil, water and air for their crops. B100 reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 75 percent and particulate matter by 47 percent compared with petroleum
And finally, the fuel performs. Farmers use biodiesel blends in their diesel equipment with great success. Biodiesel meets ASTM specifications, and it provides a more complete combustion than ULSD and added lubricity.
Farmers give biodiesel producers the feedstocks they need to create fuel. In return, biodiesel producers give farmers economic, environmental and performance benefits. That’s something to celebrate this autumn.
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