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Renewable diesel an opportunity for U.S. agriculture

The CEO of the largest agriculture cooperative in the United States says he is optimistic about renewable diesel demand from California’s low carbon fuel standard and what that means for U.S. agriculture.

Soybean oil can be used to make renewable diesel. Jay Debertin with CHS Inc. says the investments in soy processing will likely continue in the next few years.

“Demand certainly seems to be there and there are other things that come with that. There’s a lot more meal that needs to be produced. That market needs to clear and there needs to be a home for that and it’s very dependent on government policy, which has its own risks, but it is an opportunity that could be very beneficial for the U.S. farmer.”

Debertin says local soybean processing gives farmers more options.

“I’ve been working with farmers for 38 years and they like options.”

Debertin tells Brownfield it is unclear how increased domestic crush capacity would affect the export option to countries like China, who prefer to purchase whole beans.

“It will still be an option, but the other markets will have to compete.”

Debertin was the keynote speaker at the KC Federal Reserve’s Ag Symposium on Tuesday. The event continues in Kansas City on Wednesday.

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