Less dependence on foreign oil topped the write-in responses to a biofuels online survey just conducted by Soybean Digest.

One farmer wrote: “I am sending fewer dollars to the Middle East to use against us and fuel terror.”

Another wrote: “I won't give Arab oil countries my dollars if I don't have to.”

And another: “I don't like dependence on our sworn enemies for anything.”

As expected, some write-in responses to our survey were more passionate than others. But most of the 353 respondents also pointed to the renewable, home-grown advantages of producing ethanol and biodiesel. Most believe, and appear to be proud, that the use of renewable fuels will help the farm economy and the prices they get paid for corn and beans.

Ethanol, of course, has long had widespread use and acceptance. But that's not the case for new kid on the block, biodiesel.

For example, a surprise in our survey is that more than half (61%) of respondents say biodiesel isn't available in their area or they don't know where to purchase it. But of those who have used biodiesel, 94% plan to continue using it.

So despite the promotion efforts of the United Soybean Board, the American Soybean Association and the National Biodiesel Board, there's still a big gap in biodiesel availability.

Eventually, state and/or federal mandatory biodiesel legislation will pump more life into this renewable fuel. It will also make it more readily and easily available in your areas.

Until then, demand that your local fuel supplier stock biodiesel. Be forceful and keep the biodiesel wheels rolling.

To help you find out where and what's available in your area, log on to www.biodiesel.org or call your local and state soybean association.

You can also stay abreast of how the renewable fuels standard is progressing in the federal energy bill. We'll keep you posted here and at SoybeanDigest.com. Once on our site, please check out our special report called “The Biofuels Boom” and the full results of our biofuels online survey.

See Brazil Beans Up Close

If you're looking for a winter getaway, take a look at Soybean Digest's farm tour to Brazil on Feb. 1-14, 2003. It's a tailor-made trip that gets you to some of Brazil's biggest and best soybean production areas.

Sign-up deadline is Nov. 1. For information, contact KITT Travel at 800-635-5488 or log on to: www.kitt-travel.com/soybeef.htm