IRFA Relaunches On-Farm Biodiesel Credit Program

By Lisa Coffelt | June 01, 2023

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association is giving back to Iowa farmers by supporting biodiesel usage for farm operations via their On-Farm Biodiesel Credit Program. Any farmer within Iowa who purchases a qualifying biodiesel blend can receive up to 50 cents per gallon through the IRFA program, which will be the second year running for this innovative program. This is a great way for farmers to try a B11 blend or bump up to B20. IRFA is thrilled to be able to relaunch this program with $45,000 in available funding for 2023. Last year, we exhausted $35,000 in cash-back credits to almost 100 farmers who used higher biodiesel blends on their farm.

Farmers can earn 25 cents per gallon for filling up with B11 (11% biodiesel) and 50 cents per gallon with B20 (20% biodiesel) up to a maximum credit of $500 per farmer.  To be eligible, farmers must meet the criteria and follow the procedures outlined at the link at the end of this article.
Biodiesel is a win for agriculture on multiple levels, as it adds value to soybean oil, corn oil and animal fats. It’s supported by John Deere and CASE IH engines. We are looking forward to putting more money in farmers’ pockets this year as we expand biodiesel distribution.

The Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa Biodiesel Board continue to partner with the program, providing $10,000. Biodiesel producers Western Iowa Energy, Western Dubuque Biodiesel and Chevron Renewable Energy Group each contributed $5,000. IRFA provides $20,000 in funding and manages the program.

Response to the first round of funding in 2022 was positive. “We use biodiesel year-round on my farm—B20 in the summer and B5 in the winter, and have had absolutely no problems,” says Randy Miller, a soybean farmer from South Central Iowa. “The biodiesel credit is just one more example of the benefit that is out there for farmers to get started using biodiesel.”

From prolonging the life of the engine to reducing harmful emissions, biodiesel provides diesel vehicle drivers with many benefits. It can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to nearly 90% compared to petroleum diesel. Just as important, by displacing the many toxic, cancer-causing chemicals in diesel fuel.

Iowa has 11 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce 410 million gallons annually, making it the nation’s leader in biodiesel production and contributing thousands of jobs and millions in household income to Iowa’s economy. The biodiesel industry accounts for nearly $1 billion of Iowa’s gross domestic product, generates $500 million of income for Iowa households, and supports more than 7,000 job throughout the entire state.

While biodiesel blends are king of the Iowa roads, dye-biodiesel usage lags. IRFA looks to programs like the On-Farm Biodiesel Credit Program to raise awareness of biodiesel while increasing usage of these important Iowa-produced products. Ultimately, by giving back to Iowa farmers who see the benefit in their farm operations, IRFA hopes to increase demand of Iowa agriculture commodities and show how biodiesel is a cleaner-burning, high-performance biofuel made for diesel engines.

Author: Lisa Coffelt
[email protected]

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