Biobased Products are the Future of Agriculture

Biobased products, including fuels, lubricants, construction materials, and more are the future, and were the subject of several House farm bill amendments last week.

Congressman Zach Nunn (R-IA) offered and withdrew his biobased products amendment after Chair Glenn Thompson agreed to work with him to perfect it for possible later inclusion. Nunn said, “This bipartisan proposal improves the USDA’s Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program by creating a grant within the program for the construction and expansion of new or existing biorefineries.”

Nunn says “bureaucratic red tape” has kept the program underutilized, limiting its effectiveness. Nunn cosponsored the amendment with Rep. Nikki Budzinski (D-IL) who says “Bioprocessing is an incredibly important element happening in central and southern Illinois’ initiative. Our hard-working Illinois farmers are the backbone of the economy for the state, and I believe we should be creating more unique and innovative opportunities for our farmers.”

Budzinski says that takes infrastructure to make fuels, feed, and even textiles to create those new markets and bring farmers “into the future.”. She says, “In my district, the University of Illinois is the national leader in biomanufacturing and is the proud home to the Integrated Bioprocessing and Research Lab, where students and faculty drive world class innovation every day.”

A separate amendment also withdrawn with a commitment for further review would give USDA a role to better define and clarify biobased product labels to boost consumer and manufacturer acceptance and sales.

Story courtesy of Matt Kaye, Berns Bureau, Washington, D.C and NAFB News Service

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