Propane vs. Diesel in the AG Market

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently estimated propane fuel as being used on 40% of the farms in this country. In 2012, over 800 million gallons were sold for use in the agriculture market which is more than 10% of total propane sales in the U.S. by volume. It has typically been a diesel dominated market but due to EPA imposed emissions requirements, farm owners have been forced to drastically curb emissions produced by their equipment. Due to the stricter requirements, diesel engines have become much cleaner but the cost of purchasing and running them has increased because of the complex, expensive technology needed to produce them. Some of the advantages of propane fueled engines are portability, cleanliness and their ability to not contaminate the soil or water supply, therefore making them perfect for the agriculture industry. It has been shown that propane irrigation engines provide substantial pollutant reduction including lower greenhouse gas emissions making them superior over diesel.

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