By the end of 2008, the National Biodiesel Board estimates the nation’s biodiesel production capacity will exceed 1.3 billion gallons per year. Producing that much fuel will consume about 5.2 million tons of soybean oil roughly half of the nation’s annual soybean oil production.
The majority of soybean oil produced in the U.S. is used for domestic food consumption, so the production of soy oil will have to be greatly increased to keep up with both the food and energy demands. Soybean oil can’t be extracted without producing soybean meal. With an expected production of over 5 million tons of soybean meal per year, new markets for the meal are imperative.
Among the possibilities for increasing the use of Minnesota’s soybean meal supply is the production of soy flour and bypass protein soybean meal (BPSM). This is a meal produced in a manner that reduces degradation of the protein in the meal in the rumen of a multi-gastric animal such as a dairy cow. Protein that bypasses the rumen is converted into milk, resulting in higher milk production.
An evaluation of the market found that there could be opportunities in the state for production of high BPSM in Minnesota, particularly in regions of the state where dairy concentration is highest.