Tim Bardole posing in front of his grain bin

(Photo Credit: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

2020 Legislative Session Fruitful for Iowa Soybean Farmers, Rural Communities

June 15, 2020

Statement Courtesy of Iowa Soybean Association President Tim Bardole of Rippey, Iowa

“Despite a legislative session unlike anything Iowa’s ever seen, state lawmakers took important action benefiting Iowa agriculture, soybean farmers and the rural economy.

“At the top of the list was the critical reauthorization and extension of the biodiesel fuel tax incentive. The highly successful policy offers a 3-cent-per-gallon tax reduction for blends of diesel containing at least 11 percent biodiesel. This provision supports and expands biodiesel demand, providing some certainty for a struggling soybean market. Considering nearly half of on-road diesel fuel gallons sold in Iowa contain B11 or higher biodiesel blends, the legislation benefits consumers at the pump and rural communities. Biodiesel supports more than 3,800 full-time equivalent jobs and contributes nearly $500 million to Iowa’s Gross Domestic Product each year.

“Additional action of importance during this year’s session was:

  • Biodiesel Infrastructure – The Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP) was funded at $3 million for FY2021. Through cost-share dollars, RFIP encourages and helps fuel retailers to either install or convert fueling equipment to allow the expanded use of biodiesel in Iowa.
  • Ag Trespass – The legislation furthers the protection and security of Iowa’s livestock producers by increasing penalties for those who commit trespass at various agricultural facilities including livestock barns and meat processors.

“Recognizing the challenging economic times Iowans face due to COVID-19, we remain committed to funding and implementing long-term, dedicated solutions that will improve Iowa’s water quality, agricultural productivity and recreational amenities. We look forward to working with Governor Reynolds, Ag Secretary Mike Naig and legislators throughout the off-season and into next year’s session to fully implement the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust. Boosting the state’s sales tax by just a penny will generate nearly $100 million annually for advancing water quality, an increase of 31% from current funding.

“Soybean farmers are driven to deliver greater productivity while also strengthening our soils and improving water quality. We look forward to being a partner and resource for the governor and legislature as they proceed on this important initiative.

“I would also like to thank Iowa Soybean Association members who choose to pay membership dues in the form of an Advocate membership. These funds help ISA leverage non-checkoff dollars to ensure farmers are represented in the statehouse on a variety of policy issues impacting their operations."

The Iowa Soybean Association (www.iasoybeans.com) is “Driven To Deliver” increased soybean demand through market development and new uses, farmer-focused research and results, timely information and know-how and policy initiatives enabling farmers and the industry to flourish. Founded in 1964 by farmers to serve farmers, ISA is governed by a board of 22 farmers to advocate on behalf of the state’s 40,000 soybean producers, including more than 15,000 ISA farmer members and industry stakeholders.