“We celebrated independence day twice this week,” said George Goblish, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association president and Vesta area resident; that independence came at the pump as the state increased its biodiesel mandate.
Independence Day is traditionally celebrated July 4 in Minnesota, but this past week another independence day was celebrate three days earlier. “We celebrated independence day twice this week,” said George Goblish, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association president and Vesta area resident. That independence came at the pump as the state increased its biodiesel mandate.
According to Goblish the state is declaring its independence from foreign oil by using renewable fuels in the U.S. “This is a good thing for Minnesota soybeans and soybean growers,” said Goblish, adding projections are showing this could add up to 73 cents per bushel to the price for soybeans. “Biodiesel is also better for the environment.” Prior to July 1 Minnesota had a 5 percent biodiesel mandate, and the move to 10 percent is going to increase the demand for soybeans. According to Mike Younger-berg, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association senior director of field services, the 5 percent biodiesel mandate meant an increase of soybean use and created 40 million gallons of demand. He surmised the increase to 10 percent is going to mean another 20 million gallons. Youngerberg said the B-10 mandate in Minnesota is in place for the summer months. “It will be in place through Sept. 30,” he said, adding during the winter months it is going to be reduced back down to the 5 percent level. In 2015 the 10 percent blend is going to be in place starting April 1 and running through the end of September. Concerns about cold temps and gelling of diesel at the higher percentage during colder winter months led those involved with the biodiesel industry to implement the percentage changes. However, those who utilize diesel also know the fuel even without biodiesel can gel up when it gets cold. Goblish said even though most drivers are not going to notice a difference because they do not buy diesel, there are many cars and pickups on the road today that do use it. In addition, semis, farm equipment and many buses also use diesel. Youngerberg said the goal was to have B-10 in place earlier, but infrastructure challenges meant postponing that mandate until this year. Goblish recognized the efforts of many ag leaders and legislators who put in lots of time pushing for this mandate. Youngerberg said the effort now is to make sure the mandate is in place across the state and to ensure any issues are resolved. He added there is also a plan to increase the percentage statewide to B-20 by 2018.