With President Bush firmly behind the use of renewable fuels, get ready for more creative ways to see your corn and soybean crop used in the future.
This issue contains a special report devoted to explaining how renewable fuels will become a significant part of everyone's lives.
“The Biofuels Boom,” pages 19-34, points out the legislative wins and hurdles ahead with biodiesel and ethanol. It also examines what growth to expect and how quickly the adoption process should occur. It even outlines how the U.S. compares to foreign countries on the biofuels front.
In fact, it may surprise you to know that countries like Germany and Brazil are years ahead of the U.S. on their use of biodiesel and ethanol.
Here in the U.S., government fleets, school districts and now even private industries are using biodiesel, the newcomer to biofuels.
A leader in adoption may soon be Wal-Mart, which owns and operates about 6,000 trucks, plus many more contracted vehicles. The giant discounter is testing biodiesel in their over-the-road fleets.
This venture started last fall when Gary Parker, a Moran, KS, soybean grower who serves on the United Soybean Board, wrote a letter to the CEO of Wal-Mart about using biodiesel. He noted in his letter that the company's “American made” philosophy seemed like a natural fit for the home-grown fuel.
Within weeks, Parker was contacted by Wal-Mart and the wheels — literally — began to turn.
Last winter, 40 trucks in Wal-Mart's Spring Valley, IL, distribution center began using biodiesel. And now, company officials have decided to expand the test on long-haul trucks and have moved the project to their distribution center in Greencastle, IN.
Although Parker says no promises have been made to date, the fact that the research continues is encouraging.
“They (Wal-Mart) are staying with it and are committed,” Parker says. “The people at the distribution centers are pretty excited about it. And, of course, we hope they'll adopt it throughout their fleets. The upside is huge.”
It seems the time has come for renewable fuels to get out of the baby-steps mode and start running. So, make sure you read the special report for more details.
You can also access this report and more at www.SoybeanDigest.com
Midwest Soybean Conference
Don't miss this conference Aug. 2-4 at the Radisson Hotel South in Minneapolis. For additional information, call the Iowa Soybean Association at 800-383-1423 or visit www.iasoybeans.com.