Kansas Governor Proclaims Week of May 26 ‘Biofuels Week’
May 22, 2019 – At a time of distress in rural Kansas, renewable fuel remains an important asset to drive feed-grain demand and improve prospects for profitability on the farm. Recognizing the many benefits biofuels provide to the Kansas economy, agricultural industry, energy consumers and environment, Gov. Laura Kelly has proclaimed the week of May 26 as “Biofuels Week.”
In celebration of the proclamation, Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam hosted a recognition ceremony with the effort’s organizing groups at the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s headquarters in Manhattan.
“Biofuels add value to the Kansas economy and are an important contributor to the Kansas agriculture industry,” Beam said. “They offer a clean-burning, affordable fuel choice to consumers, as well as provide valuable byproducts for our livestock industry in the form of [distiller’s dried grains] and soybean meal. Biofuels play a key role in the long-term, sustainable agricultural prosperity of Kansas.”
Currently in Kansas, 10 ethanol plants annually produce 550 million gallons of clean-burning renewable ethanol, worth nearly $900 million. Those Kansas ethanol plants use 44 percent of all corn and 30 percent of all grain sorghum grown in the state.
Similarly, biodiesel adds 63 cents per bushel to the value of Kansas soybeans. Kansas has one renewable-diesel plant, and a state-of-the-art biodiesel plant is under construction in Wichita that annually will produce 60 million gallons of clean-burning biodiesel from locally grown soybeans.
“America’s first and only energy source to earn the title of ‘advanced biofuel’ from the Environmental Protection Agency, biodiesel can be used in almost any diesel engine without modifications in blends of up to 20%,” said Dennis Gruenbacher, Andale, who represents the Kansas Soybean Commission on the National Biodiesel Board. “Last year, biodiesel production used the oil from 660 million bushels of soybeans, which was 35% of the U.S. soybean-oil supply. That kind of domestic demand is vitally important to soybean farmers right now.”
Kansas Soybean, Kansas Corn, Kansas Grain Sorghum, the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience-Store Association of Kansas, and Renew Kansas all partnered to form the coalition for Kelly to announce a statewide recognition of biofuels.
“Renew Kansas is thankful for the governor’s recognition of the Kansas biofuels industry, which provides Kansans with a steady supply of renewable, affordable and environmentally sound fuel with every fill up,” Renew Kansas President and CEO Ron Seeber said.
The partner organizations will promote Biofuels Week through social media channels using the #KsBiofuels hashtag, as well as disperse industry facts and statistics to media and stakeholders across the state.