Blending Biodiesel is a “Win-Win” for Lafayette County Farmer
February 20, 2022
Written By Adam Buckallew
Fifth-generation farmer Garrett Riekhof isn’t afraid to try new things on his family’s century farm in Lafayette County, Mo. Whether it’s testing new technology, researching production decisions in test plots, or re-evaluating inputs, Riekhof is looking for any edge he can find.
Together with his wife, Cara, who helps co-manage the farming operation, Riekhof raises soybeans and white corn. One area where the couple has found success as early adopters has been in embracing soy biodiesel.
“We decided to jump in headfirst with a 50/50 blend of biodiesel and conventional diesel on our farm,” Riekhof says. “I was curious if I would sink or swim with that approach, but we’ve had no issues whatsoever.”
The family fuels multiple pieces of farm machinery with biodiesel that they buy from MFA Oil.
“MFA Oil can deliver whatever blend I would like of soy biodiesel,” Riekhof says. “They bring it to the farm, and I’m ready to rock and roll.”
For Riekhof, the economic, performance and environmental benefits of biodiesel made it an easy decision to adopt the renewable fuel as part of his farm’s energy strategy.
“Soybean biodiesel is cleaner burning, it has a much smaller carbon footprint, and it’s saving me a little bit of cash every time I fuel up,” Riekhof says. “To me, it’s just a win-win.”
MFA Oil has marketed and provided support for the biodiesel industry since 1993. James Greer, senior vice president of supply and transportation for MFA Oil, says it makes sense for the cooperative to support renewable fuels like biodiesel because it benefits the company’s farmer-owners.
“It’s no secret that agriculture is the No. 1 industry in the state of Missouri,” Greer says. “When you support biodiesel, you support Missouri’s soybean farmers. Biodiesel production adds value to soybean prices and puts cash back in our farmers’ pockets.”
Missouri is home to seven biodiesel production plants with more than 240 million gallons of annual production capacity. The Missouri biodiesel industry supports more than 3,000 jobs and provides $1.7 billion in economic impact to the state and local economies.
Riekhof appreciates MFA Oil giving farmers like himself the ability to “burn what we grow.”
“When we take locally grown soybeans and turn their oil into Missouri-produced biodiesel, it not only benefits farmers, but it also keeps those economic benefits in our home communities,” Riekhof says. “I enjoy keeping as many dollars within my community as I can, and I give props to MFA Oil for helping me do it.”
All original engine manufacturers approve biodiesel for use in any diesel engine. Compared with a petroleum-based diesel fuel, B20—a 20-percent blend of biodiesel and conventional diesel fuel—provides similar fuel economy, horsepower and torque as well as increased lubricity and cetane value.
Farmers interested in incorporating biodiesel into their farm’s energy mix should contact their local MFA Oil bulk plant.