Dickinson Co. supports use of B20 to fuel fleet01/30/2020 | Biodiesel, Policy, Transportation, Soybean News, Ag Awareness
By Bethany Baratta, ISA senior writer
Earlier this week, the Dickinson County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a proclamation declaring all new diesel vehicles secured by the county must be approved for the use of B20.
The proclamation comes on the heels of Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’ Dec. 3 executive order declaring that new diesel vehicles procured by the state’s executive branch must be approved for the use of B20, a fuel blend containing 20% biodiesel. The governor’s executive order on biodiesel was the first of its kind in the United States.
“Dickinson County’s proclamation builds on the positive momentum the governor started when she issued her statewide B20 executive order,” said Grant Kimberley, senior director of market development for the Iowa Soybean Association and executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board. “To have additional counties and local governments follow suit would be positive.”
Iowa leads the nation in biodiesel production. In 2018, the state’s 11 biodiesel plants produced 365 million gallons, up 20% from the year before. (*Information regarding 2019 biodiesel production is expected to be released in a few months.)
ISA District 4 director Jeff Frank said biodiesel not only helps reduce carbon emissions, it also supports soybean farmers. A recent study from Int’l FC Stone shows that biodiesel production adds about 13% to soybean prices.
Frank, who has been using biodiesel on his farm for several years, says biodiesel usage will be a topic for discussion with county officials in the districts he serves.
“My district is largely made up of farmers, so biodiesel is really important to my area,” Frank said.
Explaining the importance of biodiesel to farmers and to the state is an easy topic to bring up, he said.
“I’m going to put the idea in front of county supervisors and engineers and encourage them to use it,” he said. “They have other things on their plates, they probably haven’t even thought about it.”
Reynolds said governors in other states have asked her to share the executive order she instated. Kimberley hopes the discussion between the governors and counties within Iowa has a large ripple effect.
“All diesel engines can use biodiesel, but a few engine manufacturers may not warranty B20,” Kimberley said. “Increased demand for biodiesel helps send a signal to a few engine manufacturers to continue to build and supply engines that warranty higher blends of biodiesel.”
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