Check out this “Maryland Coast Dispatch” [USA] article for a local take on how chicken feed production links to national biodiesel trends.
Major drivers: Perdue is the 800 Pound Chicken producer; Perdue already processes soybeans at various locations, producing soymeal for chicken feed; Maryland is a major chicken producing State, as are many others in the US mid-Atlantic region; biodiesel fuel markets bring good prices and direct distribution brings better margins; local units of government are clamboring for more biodiesel; hence, Perdue is logically looking to get into biodiesel markets. A good thing in many ways.
But let’s not fool ourselves with license plates like “Veggie Cruiser”. There’s tertiary impact we’re more concerned with. Soy oil feedstock-driven green businesses rely on cheap byproduct oil to keep profit margins intact. Stock up on oil when the commodity price is low, then make soy oil products until the next good buy opportunity. If biodiesel pulls soy oil prices up and keeps them there, small businesses could be threatened. Oh, what tangled webs we TreeHuggers weave.