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Real Progress: Biodiesel to Power Farm Progress Show

August 23, 2018

(ANKENY, Iowa) – As the 2018 Farm Progress Show visits Iowa again this month to celebrate the latest in agricultural innovation, a blend of 20 percent biodiesel (B20) will power some of the farm and transportation equipment used at the show.

B20 will power the tractors as they run in-field harvest demonstrations, showcasing the latest equipment and machinery. The trams that transport attendees around the show will also use B20.

Teaming up to provide the B20 are the Iowa Biodiesel Board, Iowa Soybean Association and Renewable Energy Group (REG), the nation’s largest producer of biodiesel and a producer of renewable diesel, headquartered in Ames, Iowa.

“This is an excellent opportunity to showcase biodiesel’s benefits to farmers, and the benefits in using it in diesel ag equipment,” said Grant Kimberley, a sixth-generation family farmer in Iowa who serves as executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board and director of market development for the Iowa Soybean Association. “We hope this exposure reminds farmers that biodiesel is a product born of their leadership. We would like to see all farmers use biodiesel.”

Biodiesel is an advanced biofuel made from agricultural byproducts and co-products, such as soybean oil. Soybean farmers first voted to develop and support biodiesel more than 25 years ago.

A study by Informa Economics shows biodiesel contributes about 63 cents per bushel of soybeans, which benefits soybean farmers. Most of this comes from more value for the soybean oil, which has the effect of lowering the price of meal for livestock producers. Combined with greater value for animal fats left over from meat production, biodiesel makes livestock production more profitable, which can reduce food prices for consumers.

“Biodiesel is an excellent match for today’s Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel on the farm,” said Scott Hedderich, REG’s executive director of corporate affairs. “’Benefits include a high cetane rating and enhanced lubricity, which can improve performance and prolong engine life.”

Farmers at the Farm Progress Show will also have eight chances to win $500-worth of biodiesel-blended fuel. Interested farmers can enter at the Iowa Soybean Association tent (#740). The tent will also feature a custom-made biodiesel truck by DieselSellerz, the business behind Discovery Channel's hit TV show “Diesel Brothers.”

Taking place Aug. 28-30 in Boone, Iowa, Farm Progress bills itself as the nation’s largest outdoor farm event, drawing thousands of farmers.

The Iowa Biodiesel Board is a state trade association representing the biodiesel industry. For more information on biodiesel, visit

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