ST. LOUIS -- It's time to plant soybeans and corn across much of the United States, and the American Soybean Association is encouraging farmers to pick up their cells phones and make calls next week, April 26-30, from their tractor cab to promote passage of a retroactive extension of the vital biodiesel tax credit.

"Call your senators and representative and ask them to contact their respective leadership to stress that the biodiesel tax incentive extension must be enacted before the Memorial Day recess," said ASA President Rob Joslin, a soybean producer from Sidney, Ohio. "We realize that at this time of year many soybean farmers are spending long hours in their tractor cab planting crops, and this is a perfect opportunity to stop and take a few minutes at the end of a field to call your elected representatives in Washington about the urgent need to extend the biodiesel tax incentive."

All soybean farmers are urged to participate in ASA's C.A.B. Campaign: Call About Biodiesel. Contact the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak with your senators' and representative's offices.

The biodiesel tax incentive expired on Dec. 31, 2009. Since then, biodiesel production and consumption has dramatically declined, biodiesel production facilities have closed, thousands of biodiesel industry workers have lost their jobs, and surplus soybean oil stocks continue to increase as a result of lower demand.

"It now has been over 112 days since Congress allowed the biodiesel tax credit to lapse," Joslin emphasized. "We need soybean farmers to send a strong message to Congress that the biodiesel tax credit needs to be extended before the Memorial Day recess."

The U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 4213, the Tax Extenders Act of 2009,
in December 2009, and the Senate passed its version of H.R. 4213, the American Workers, State and Business Relief Act in early March 2010. Both versions of the bill include retroactive extension of the vital biodiesel tax credit through December 31, 2010. The House and Senate must now reconcile the differences between the two versions of the bill approved by the respective chambers.

Helpful Points:

Farmers should personalize and explain the impact the credit expiration is having on you, your business, and your state:

  • Biodiesel production has stopped and Green Jobs are being lost.
  • The resulting negative impact on State and Local Economic Development.
  • The detrimental effect expiration of the credit is having on Your Bottom Line (estimated impact of $0.25 per bushel).
  • From a Nationwide standpoint, Green Job creation, Energy Security and Environmental Benefits associated with domestic biodiesel production is being lost.
  • Biodiesel reduces our Dependence on Foreign Oil.
  • The Biodiesel Industry creates Green Jobs and Makes a Positive Contribution to the Economy.
  • Biodiesel is Good for the Environment.

"Please take a few minutes next week to make three phone calls," Joslin added. "Your two senators and your representative need to know that you care about this issue and how it impacts our economy and your profitability."

SOURCE: ASA.