The production of biodiesel in Iowa increased in 2020 despite only nine of the state’s 11 plants being in operation, according to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. In a news release, the organization said the state’s biodiesel plants produced 351 million gallons despite challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic and Renewable Fuel Standard exemptions. Last year was the second-highest level of production, trailing 365 million gallons in 2018. The state produced almost 342 million gallons of biodiesel in 2019. Officials with the group say there’s room for growth in Iowa’s biodiesel production with its capacity of more than 400 million gallons. Monte Shaw, the association’s executive director, said 2020 production was boosted by the reinstatement and extension of federal biodiesel blenders tax credits that were approved in late 2019. “COVID-19 did not hurt the diesel market the same way it gutted gasoline demand and, as result, production went up,” Shaw said in the release. The association plans to release statewide ethanol production numbers on Thursday.