Grain sorghum is the newest source for renewable biofuel.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency approved a number of pathways for sorghum oil to be used in the production of biofuel as part of the Renewable Fuel Standard, July 24. EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed a final notice approving the pathway alongside Sens. Jerry Moran and Deb Fisher, Rep. Roger Marshall, the National Sorghum Producers and the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The approval was a big moment for Kansas producers. Kansas has repeatedly been the No. 1 producer of grain sorghum in the U.S. Alongside trade turmoil and low prices, producers are looking for multiple avenues to move their crop into the market.

“Kansas produces more sorghum than any other state in the nation,” Kansas Farm Bureau President Rich Felts said in a statement. “The opportunity to add value to those bushels is critical to our farmers and could not be more timely as we seek any and all methods to balance the books in a tough agricultural climate.”

National Sorghum Producers commended Kansas legislators Moran and Marshall on their work to get the pathway approved, and the Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association thanked NSP for pushing the approval forward.

“National Sorghum Producers carried the ball for us and deserves to be commended for this win,” Kansas Grain Sorghum President Kent Winter said. “This was a long process that involved persistent, tireless effort by Team Sorghum and leaders in the ethanol industry. Kansas grain sorghum producers now stand a better chance of being on par and getting extra value for their crop with this accomplishment.”

The RFS program is a national policy to increase volumes of renewable fuel to replace or reduce the consumption of petroleum-based transportation fuel, heating oil, or jet fuel. EPA implements the program in consultation with U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The new pathway will allow the production of biodiesel, heating oil, jet fuel, and more produced from sorghum oil. Sorghum oil is a by-product from creating ethanol with sorghum as the main feedstock.

According to the EPA, this new feedstock is estimated to produce around 21 million gallons, providing flexibility in meeting volume standards of the RFS program. It also adds diversity to the biofuel mix in the country.