By Jim Willers, United Soybean Board director and a soybean farmer from Beaver Creek, Minn.
I know how much time I spend around diesel-powered vehicles, equipment and machinery, and I'd bet that most farmers around the United States spend similar amounts. That's why I'm so alarmed at the recent news from the World Health Organization and its International Agency for Research on Cancer, which now considers diesel fuel exhaust to be a carcinogen as dangerous as secondhand smoke.
Farmers and ranchers make up the third-largest category of diesel fuel users behind truck drivers and heating oil users.
Thankfully, recent clean-diesel technology has cleaned up our emissions immensely, including significantly reducing some of the elements of diesel exhaust that prove to be so damaging to our health.
For example, in 2007, engine manufacturers began adding filters to trap soot. They added technology to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions starting in 2010.
You can reduce these harmful emissions even more by using biodiesel.