Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon unveiled his plan to balance the state's budget and maintain funding for several key initiatives during his first State of the State address in late January. Nixon specifically mentioned Missouri's renewable fuels industry among the budget priorities listed in his proposed budget.

“We know that within Missouri's own agricultural capacity lies a possible solution to our nation's energy crisis,” Nixon said. “Missouri must remain on the leading edge of efforts to develop the renewable energy sources of our future. That's why my budget provides full funding for ethanol and biofuels.”

This is encouraging news for Missouri farmers and biodiesel producers considering state agencies were asked in early January to respond to legislative requests for scenarios dealing with budget cuts of 15 percent to 25 percent. At that time, the Missouri Department of Agriculture said payments to ethanol and biodiesel plants might have to be reduced. Nixon's budget proposal, which provides a $6.3 million increase in state funding for biodiesel and ethanol production, demonstrates the governor's commitment to supporting biofuels.

Missouri has 10 biodiesel plants located throughout the state that are capable of producing a combined total of more than 150 million gallons of fuel. Two additional plants are currently under construction.