Biodiesel helps keep meal prices in check

Article contributed by Ron Heck, Vice Chair of the Iowa Biodiesel Board.

As the alarm bell starts to ring again over “food versus fuel,” I am reminded of the “debate” about cell phones potentially causing cancer.   It doesn’t seem to matter how many scientists say that it is physically impossible for cell phones to cause cancer – there are people who believe it anyway.

Of course, the world’s food supply, and food prices, are extremely complex, affected by countless factors.  But one thing is clear: biodiesel has a positive impact on the food supply.

Biodiesel produced from soybeans uses only the oil portion, while the protein meal is used for livestock feed. Creating more value for soybean oil has the effect of decreasing the meal price from what it otherwise would cost.  That’s why every livestock producer should use biodiesel and sing its praises!

In fact, a new economic study shows the increased demand for soybean oil has subsequently increased the production of soybean meal, thus lowering soybean meal prices by $16 to $48 per ton from where they would have otherwise been from Market Year 05 through MY09.

In short, protein meal plays a critical role in our food supply.  Biodiesel, America’s Advanced Biofuel, can help keep meal prices in check.

The U.S. biodiesel industry has set reasonable goals for gradually increasing production through the federal Renewable Fuels Standard-2 without unduly straining vegetable oil markets.  This is in line with the 25 x 25 mission, which is to document, affirm and promote the fact that America’s working lands can provide 25 percent of the nation’s energy needs from renewable sources by 2025.