From the Farm: Biodiesel Fuel

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THOMASBORO, Ill. (WCIA) – The Illinois Soybean Association and Premier Cooperative have been getting farmers’ attention for a pickup truck they modified to run on biodiesel fuel. It’s part of a marketing campaign to promote the green fuel’s use. The truck was in Thomasboro on Friday when ISA staff members provided breakfast to farmers delivering grain to Premier Co-op.

According to Premier Energy Manager Garrett Bruns, biodiesel fuel is about 50 percent of his business.

“In our territory we deliver about 50% of our gallons during season, call it March to December timeframe, accounts for about 50% of the gallons we go out on diesel fuel,” Bruns said. “As far as the Co-op supporting it, where it fits in, we’re an ag co-op, we’re bigger in grain than we are in fuel, so anything we can do to support that ag market, we’re going to do it, and consuming soybean oil is one way to do that.”

So what pushed biodiesel fuel to be half of Premier’s business?

“I guess when it’s all said and done, I’ve always seen it that way,” Bruns said. “We have customers that are biased against it and some customers that are for it. They absolutely believe in it because it does support what they are doing. There are some misconceptions around it, so we try and get rid of those misconceptions, so everybody understands what we are doing with biodiesel compared to maybe somebody else in the market.”

“We’ve had a couple customers we’ve changed over let’s say in the last 12 months,” Bruns said. “Soybean oil is actually a natural detergent when it comes to a motor and the fuel system. So what they have noticed is a better burn, a cleaner burning diesel fuel, and a little better power out of it, just for the simple fact it burns a little hotter than diesel fuel does.

The Illinois Soybean Association arranged for the truck wrap at Dynagraphics in Decatur. Bruns said he wanted to make sure there was a Deere combine on one side, and a Case IH combine on the other, just to be politically correct when it comes to promoting biodiesel to farmers.

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