Governor Tom Vilsack will sign a bill into law Tuesday that creates a tax credit electric utilities that use a soy-based fluid to lubricate their transformers. The fluid is one of several soybean-based lubricants created at the University of Northern Iowa Ag-Based Lubricants Center in Waverly.

Lou Honary oversees the center that now produces over 30 products. He says there are greases for cotton picker spindles, greases for marine use and greases for food machinery in packing plants and cereal companies. Honary says the soy grease used on food machinery is safer. If the food comes into incidental contact with the grease, there’s not a problem because the grease has been approved by the F-D-A.

Honary says the soy greases are also being by farmers. Honary says the vegetable-based products handle heat better and don’t break down as quickly if farm equipment gets heavy use. He says the soy grease lets farmers use something they’ve helped create and reduces our dependency on foreign oil. The farm grease recently hit store shelves in a chain of tractor supply stores.