Mo. soybean farmers offer matching biodiesel infrastructure funds

By The Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council | July 01, 2020

Missouri soybean farmers are investing in the future for soy in Missouri through biodiesel with a new infrastructure grant program. A new commitment from the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council and Missouri Soybean Association provides up to $200,000 for businesses, cooperatives and other entities looking to build new or retrofit existing biodiesel infrastructure, from blending and distribution to fleet and retail locations.

“Growing demand for soy is central to our strategic plan for returning value to Missouri soybean farmers, and biodiesel represents a significant opportunity in the marketplace,” said Robert Alpers, a central Missouri farmer and chairman of the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council. “Missouri is a top state for biodiesel production, and we’re glad to be taking a step forward to grow the infrastructure to distribute that clean, local, renewable fuel here at home. Biodiesel blends are approved by all the original engine manufacturers, and this is a great opportunity to invest in Missouri businesses and rural communities, as well as in cleaner air across the state.”

The grant program, jointly funded by the Missouri Soybean Association and Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, will provide up to 25 percent of the required cash match for existing biodiesel infrastructure programs at the state and federal levels. Participants in both the USDA and the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority programs are eligible for consideration for funding from Missouri’s soybean organizations. Like the MASBDA program, Missouri Soybeans’ funding is limited to a maximum of $200,000 per entity. Application information is available here.

Earlier this year, USDA released information on the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, providing $14 million for biodiesel infrastructure projects. HBIIP grants may support up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs for biodiesel distribution facilities, terminal operations, and fleet facilities. MASBDA has similarly released a statewide Biofuels Infrastructure Program, allowing applicants to partner with entities receiving funding through HBIIP. Through the program, MASBDA may provide up to 25 percent of the required cash match for USDA HBIIP, not to exceed $200,000 per entity.

Increasing biodiesel demand and the infrastructure to support that growth has been a priority for the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council and the Missouri Soybean Association for several years. Missouri produces roughly 200 million gallons of biodiesel each year, making it the second-ranked state for biodiesel production. According to the National Biodiesel Board, Missouri has fewer than 20 retail locations offering the fuel.

Compared to petroleum-based diesel fuel, biodiesel has lower emissions—86 percent fewer lifecycle greenhouse gases, 47 percent less particulate matter and 67 percent less hydrocarbon emissions. It is also the only renewable fuel to have fully completed the health effects testing requirements of the Clean Air Act.

The Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council is a statewide, farmer-led organization working to improve opportunities for Missouri soybean farmers though a combination of research, outreach, education and market-development efforts supported by the soy checkoff. The Missouri Soybean Association has been soybean growers’ voice on policy for more than 50 years.

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