Analyzing the impact of biodiesel and it causing a potential issue

Michael Smith Farmer and Agricultural Economist, “Farmers need more space for crops to meet mounting demand”- AgResource | Reuters

Dan Basse of AgResource Co. analyzes the impacts of biodiesel and is throwing up a potential issue. 

Reuters interviewed an agronomist who is closely watching the budget reconciliations and the spending of a $350 billion yearly budget for the next 10 years at the federal level. 

Soyoil use is front and center in agriculture and global agricultural economics.

Joe Biden’s climate agenda is set to trigger a boom in soyoil use, reinforcing a worldwide picture of rising consumption of staple crops driven by China for other uses. As told by Dan Basse, president of consultancy AgResource Co, the GrainCom conference in Geneva. At the same time, THE combined global yields of major grain crops appear to have levelled out in the past five years.

Soyoil is superior to mining crude as the carbon captured by the soy is stored as a lipid. It is then pressed, purified, and burned. Essentially it is returning the same captured carbon back into the atmosphere. The soy plant itself is left to composting and turning into soil. 

However, farming method also need to be front and center to support such demand.

Conventional tillage would not allow a zero sum carbon offset. By some measures, tillage could throw another 30% of carbon dioxide into the air by aerating soil microbes. Tillage also leaves damp soil bare to dry out, which in turn requires more water to grow a crop. Such tillage would increase the need to pump irrigation water or haul tanks onto a field exacerbating the carbon issue. Erosion is also an issue as good topsoil and soil inputs (fertilizers) wash out easily into streams and rivers. No wonder services such as erosion and sediment control would be timely.

On one hand, we start offsetting the dirty oil and gas mining. While on the other hand, we lock 40 million additional acres into a monocropped landscape having the potential to be carbon neutral The infrastructure and methods will need some work to support such a venture. 

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