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U.S. ag and farm groups have given mixed responses to the Biden Administration’s guidelines on how a feed-stock can be eligible as a Sustainable Aviation Fuel, with most making sure to express thanks for having a seat at the table. But there are a number of complaints, including government intrusion into farming practices and questions about how the guidelines will be enforced.

For the American Soybean Association, another problem is that the government is taking a one-size-fits-all approach to its guidelines for no-till and cover cropping. Both are required for soybean oil to have a pathway to be considered as a SAF.

ASA is very supportive of using climate smart agriculture practices to improve (Carbon Intensity) reductions but specifying only two practices out of a variety of sustainability measures will further restrict soybean oil use as a SAF feedstock,” the organization said in a statement. “Adding to concerns, no-till and cover cropping are feasible only for soybean farmers in certain parts of the soy growing region, which means regional disparity is likely.”

The ASA president, a North Dakota farmer, notes that farmers do plant cover crops, when possible, but that given the short season sometimes it is not feasible. And as for farmers in the region both using no-till and cover crops, that is “contrary to what Mother Nature will allow.”


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