Members of the Indiana Soybean Alliance were happy to see that biodiesel was included as an important part of the Obama Administration's energy plans for the future.
On behalf of the Alliance, Kevin Wilson, president of the Soybean Alliance, issued a statement commending the administration for their actions.
Action of agencies within the administration means that there will be a mandate for biodiesel of about 1.2 billion gallons. It's still only a small fraction of the 55 billion gallons of diesel fuel used in the U.S. annually, but it's certainly a step in the right direction, Wilson believes.
Soybean farmers have been promoting the use of biodiesel containing soybean oil for several years. Lately, it had not caught as much publicity as the use of ethanol produced form corn. Tractors at the Indiana State Fairgrounds were powered with a soy biodiesel blend. However, unless you know how much soy is in the blend, that can be misleading. Even blends with a small percentage of soy mixed with a large percentage of petroleum-derived diesel fuel can be marketed as biodiesel fuel.
Soy biodiesel isn't the only alternative fuel gaining attention these days. One farmer in Miami County has grown canola for several years now, and has figured out how to produce both meal for livestock and fuel for his vehicles from canola. Most canola is grown in Canada. The big canola boom in the U.S. in the late '80's went bust when harsh winters exposed varieties that weren't suited for this area that were being sold and promoted here.
However, at least one farmer and his neighbors in Miami County believe the crop may have a future in Indiana after all. You can learn more about their plans in the November issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer.