Iowa ethanol and biodiesel producers have set new production records for 2016. This means they also processed a record amount of Iowa corn, soybean oil, animal fats and other feedstocks into clean-burning renewable fuels. The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) has recently released results of a commissioned study that shows the significant economic impact this record production has had on Iowa’s economy. John Urbanchuk of ABF Economics authored the study that says the renewable fuels industry supported more than 42,000 Iowa jobs in 2016. They were also able to generate approximately $2.3 billion in household income for Iowans, accounting for roughly $4.7 billion, or 3.5 percent of Iowa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IRFA Executive Director, Monte Shaw said, “Policy for biodiesel was clear and consistent in 2016, and production and economic impact both increased. But trade barriers and low Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) levels stunted growth of Iowa ethanol.” Shaw added that his hope for 2017 is that with RFS levels set at statutory levels, Iowa will see more production and increased economic benefit.
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