Record biofuel production powers rural Iowa economy

By Iowa Renewable Fuels Assoc. | February 13, 2017

Iowa ethanol and biodiesel producers both set production records in 2016, processing a record amount of Iowa corn, soybean oil, animal fats and other feedstocks into clean-burning renewable fuels.  As that economic activity flowed throughout Iowa, it left a significant impact, according to an economic impact study commissioned by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) and recently released.  

The study, authored by John Urbanchuk of ABF Economics and commissioned by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, found that in 2016 the renewable fuels industry in Iowa:

  • Supported more than 42,000 jobs throughout the entire Iowa economy;
  • Generated about $2.3 billion in household income for Iowans; and,
  • Accounted for roughly $4.7 billion, or 3.5 percent, of Iowa GDP.

“The results of the 2017 study clearly show the influence policy consistency and certainty have on industry growth and economic impact,” said IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “Policy for biodiesel was clear and consistent in 2016 and production and economic impact both increased. But trade barriers and low Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) levels stunted the growth of Iowa ethanol. My hope for 2017, with RFS levels set at statutory levels, is we will see more production and increased economic benefit for Iowa.”

To view a fact sheet on the study as well as the study, visit