Ag Commodity Groups Talk Renewable Fuels at HHD

By: Megan Johnson Email
By: Megan Johnson Email

A proclamation by Governor Dave Heineman has officially declared September as renewable fuels month.

But he says balancing Nebraska's need for food and fuel is a conversation ag leaders have often, especially during a drought.

"We're also very aware of the challenges we face right now with the drought, some of the input costs for our livestock producers, but we're all in this together," says Heineman.

Nebraska Corn Board Chair Tim Scheer says this year's crop won't turn out like producers envisioned this spring.

He says livestock is still corn's number on industry, but believes ethanol is an important end user too.

"We have to have some other uses besides the normal uses of livestock and feed," says Scheer. "You know it really comes down to producing food, fuel, and fiber, and we can do that, we just need mother nature to help."

Meanwhile, Soybean Board Chair Greg Greving says the drought has less effect on renewable fuel made from soybeans because biodiesel is an extra by-product made from leftover soybean oil.

He says when New York City's mandate that all heating oil have at least 2% biodiesel in it goes into effect, they'll use more biodiesel than the state of Iowa which is currently the third largest consumption state.

"The more of that we can sell through biodiesel will add value to the oil which will add value to the soybeans which eventually comes back to the farm," says Greving.

And Greving says research has shown that soy biodiesel is a better quality source of bioheat than others.

Corn board officials also talked about a new blend of ethanol that should be appearing at gas stations later this month.

They say E15 will help them since more ethanol was being produced than could be blended in at the 10% level. The EPA says E15 can be used in flex fuel vehicles and 2001 model year or newer cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles.

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