Field Views is a contribution series looking at ag policy issues from a grower perspective. Posts in this series are written by soy growers from across the country.
Hi! My name is Kate Danner and I farm in western Illinois where I raise over 650 acres of soybeans annually on my family farm.
As a soybean farmer, I’m especially interested in biodiesel which is made from soybean oil. Each and every year my soybeans help create renewable energy through biodiesel, and on my farm I use that biodiesel to fuel my tractors and my daily driving vehicle for each day of work.
Using biodiesel makes sense to me because it’s more efficient for my family’s farm, contributes to cleaner air, and improves the sustainability of my business.
For that reason, I’m especially glad the recently passed Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 includes a one-year extension of the biodiesel tax credit, retroactive to 2017. Ideally, we would have liked a multi-year extension for 2018 and beyond to give us certainty, but the retroactive credit is a start.
As an on-the-ground grower, the biodiesel tax credit is important to me because it makes biodiesel more competitive in the fuel market, and in turn, gives value to my beans and the oil they produce.
Illinois is the number one producing state for soybeans in America and between 2004 and 2010, the Illinois biodiesel industry generated $1.5 billion of household income and was responsible for more than $2.6 billion of Illinois Gross Domestic Product.
Biodiesel has been and continues to be a great success story. Economically it helps farmers and rural communities across the country, it increases the diversity of our fuel supply and contributes to our energy dependence as a country.
I’m a proud producer of soybeans for biodiesel and I echo the American Soybean Association’s call for a multi-year extension of the biodiesel tax credit for 2018 and beyond.
Photo of Kate courtesy of United States Department of Agriculture.