Roger Rainville is ahead of the curve when it comes to reducing costs on his farm near Alburgh, Vermont. He's currently producing biodiesel for about $1.70 a gallon. That savings, and his profit margin, are going to be even greater if energy and fuel prices continue to rise as they have been recently. Rainville first got interested in oilseed production when University of Vermont Extension (with the help of a SARE grant) approached him about growing canola seed on his farm. Initially, Rainville thought the canola could provide a good source of feed (canola meal) for his cows, with oil production simply a side-benefit. Over several years, however, Rainville's thinking was transformed as he realized the potential for producing his own biodiesel.
As the economic and environmental incentives attract more farmers to this technology, Rainville cautions that farmers should try out oilseed and biofuel production on a small scale first, before making any major changes or investments in equipment. Watch the video and learn more to see if biodiesel production might be adapted to your farm or ranch system.
To read more, and to access the Steps in Biodiesel Production (pdf) referred to in the video, please visit Cooking Up a Story.