Nebraska Farmer Logo

May is Renewable Fuels MonthMay is Renewable Fuels Month

Nebraskans are encouraged to use renewable fuels to help celebrate the industry.

Curt Arens

May 8, 2023

3 Min Read
hand pumping bio diesel gas into silver car
FILL ‘ER UP: Nebraska corn and soybean organizations are encouraging consumers to use renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel to help celebrate May as Renewable Fuels Month. Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Renewable biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel are just a part of the fabric, interwoven deeply into the ag industry in Nebraska.

Renewable Fuels Month in May, officially proclaimed by Gov. Jim Pillen on May 4, highlights the importance of renewable biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, especially for Nebraskans.

This usually marks the beginning of the summer driving season, making it an ideal time to fuel up on clean and cost-saving biofuels, according to the Nebraska Soybean Board and Fueled by Nebraska — a partnership of the Nebraska Ethanol Board, Nebraska Corn Board and Renewable Fuels Nebraska formed to ensure strong markets for biofuels.

Both biodiesel and ethanol help decrease America’s dependence on foreign oil, boost our nation’s economy and support thousands of jobs in rural communities, these organizations say.

Big business

Ethanol is the third-largest Nebraska agriculture commodity, and the use of a 10% blend saves Nebraskans $275 million per year. Nebraska also is the second-largest producer of ethanol in the country with about two dozen ethanol plants.

Biodiesel adds 70 cents per bushel to the value of soybeans. Increased demand for soybean oil to make biodiesel also increases the supply of soybean meal, leading to lower animal feed prices paid by poultry and livestock farmers.

Biodiesel can reduce life cycle emissions by 86% compared with petroleum-based diesel fuel. Meanwhile, according to USDA, ethanol blends reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43% compared with regular gasoline.

Feed and fuel

“Nebraska agriculture is well-positioned to greatly impact the country’s transition to be less carbon intensive. While new technologies find their footing, corn and soybeans grown right here in Nebraska will continue to feed and fuel the world for a long time,” says Sherry Vinton, director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

“Nebraska is blessed to not only have the land, the tools and the natural resources for a thriving agriculture industry, but also the farmers and producers who continue to nurture the commodities that, over many decades, have made Nebraska what it is — an agriculture powerhouse. Fill up with biofuels, save money, and tell others of the importance of renewable fuels to our state and communities.”

While the ethanol industry is well established in the state and has been for years, expanded soybean processing and increased use of biodiesel more recently are bringing new markets and new opportunities for soybean growers.

“Biodiesel and other fuels like renewable diesel provide a market for feedstocks like soybean oil that might not otherwise be utilized,” says Andy Chvatal, executive director of the Nebraska Soybean Board. “Nebraska is a leader in soybean production, and the growth of the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry creates a reliable and consistent market for our farmers to sell their crops.”

That demand for feedstocks to create clean fuel has increased soybean processing across Nebraska, and it will create more opportunities for soybean meal and soybean oil in the coming years, Chvatal says.

Like corn, soybeans are an important crop in the state, Chvatal notes. “Soybeans generate billions of dollars in revenue for the state’s agricultural economy, providing a sustainable source of feed, food, fiber and as we are highlighting in the month of May in Nebraska, fuel,” he adds.

Learn more

Heavy-duty diesel vehicles can also lower emissions by filling up with biodiesel blends of 20% (B20) or higher. Find fueling locations near you at

Owners of vehicles 2001 and newer can safely use blends of ethanol up to E15 (15% ethanol) and will often enjoy significant savings per gallon. Owners of flex-fuel vehicles can use blends up to E85 and experience even greater savings.

Fueled by Nebraska invites consumers to celebrate renewable fuels in classrooms, at work and in the community this May. Learn more and find ethanol retail locations at

During Renewable Fuels Month, Fueled by Nebraska and the Nebraska Soybean Board will host giveaways, student contests, fuel promotions and more.

To participate, visit

A news release from the Nebraska Soybean Board and Fueled by Nebraska contributed to this article.

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Curt Arens

Editor, Nebraska Farmer

Curt Arens began writing about Nebraska’s farm families when he was in high school. Before joining Farm Progress as a field editor in April 2010, he had worked as a freelance farm writer for 27 years, first for newspapers and then for farm magazines, including Nebraska Farmer.

His real full-time career, however, during that same period was farming his family’s fourth generation land in northeast Nebraska. He also operated his Christmas tree farm and grew black oil sunflowers for wild birdseed. Curt continues to raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa and runs a cow-calf herd.

Curt and his wife Donna have four children, Lauren, Taylor, Zachary and Benjamin. They are active in their church and St. Rose School in Crofton, where Donna teaches and their children attend classes.

Previously, the 1986 University of Nebraska animal science graduate wrote a weekly rural life column, developed a farm radio program and wrote books about farm direct marketing and farmers markets. He received media honors from the Nebraska Forest Service, Center for Rural Affairs and Northeast Nebraska Experimental Farm Association.

He wrote about the spiritual side of farming in his 2008 book, “Down to Earth: Celebrating a Blessed Life on the Land,” garnering a Catholic Press Association award.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like