Farm Bureau provides on-farm fuel-efficiency tips
as part of Flex Your Power at the Pump campaign
» June 1, 2004 «
Farmers beset by high fuel costs can save fuel and money by maximizing fuel efficiency on the farm and on the road, according to the California Farm Bureau Federation.
Farm Bureau is distributing fuel-efficiency tips to farmers and ranchers, as part of a statewide effort to reduce fuel use. The state's largest farm organization joined Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and nearly three dozen companies and associations in a campaign called "Flex Your Power at the Pump."
"High fuel costs can erode the bottom line for California farmers and ranchers," said CFBF President Bill Pauli. "Farm Bureau is pleased to participate in the Flex Your Power at the Pump campaign. We want to provide our members with practical advice about how to conserve fuel and save money."
Farm Bureau has posted fuel-efficiency suggestions on its Web site, www.cfbf.com, and will distribute tips to farmers and ranchers via its weekly newspaper, Ag Alert®.
The recommendations, compiled from reports by university agricultural engineers and irrigation specialists, include:
- Inflate tires to proper pressure. A University of California study shows that over-inflated tractor tires waste fuel and reduce productivity. Under-inflated tires increase sidewall wear and can undermine tires in other ways.
- "Every source indicates that proper tire pressure is a key to fuel efficiency," Pauli said. "One example in the UC study showed that a tractor using 'low/correct' tire pressure required 20 percent less diesel fuel and improved productivity more than 5 percent."
- Consider reduced tillage. University engineers recommend that farmers carefully evaluate their tillage plans and reduce tillage or the intensity of tillage wherever possible, and change to a no-till planting system where field conditions permit.
- Use the appropriate-sized tractor for the load. "Using excess tractor horsepower for a job can cut fuel efficiency dramatically," Pauli said. Engineers say that if farmers find themselves using a high-horsepower tractor to pull a light load, they can save fuel by running in a higher gear but at a lower engine speed.
- For diesel-powered irrigation pumps, be sure to match the engine output horsepower with the horsepower demanded by the pump.
- Think about how you use your pickup truck. Heavy-duty pickups and trucks perform crucial roles on farms, but are sometimes used for trips to town that don't require their power and hauling capacity. No matter what vehicle you drive to town, consider combining trips for errands such as purchasing farm supplies, arranging for services, etc.
The Farm Bureau also encourages rural drivers to observe the recommendations that the Flex Your Power at the Pump campaign makes for on-the-road fuel efficiency:
- Keep tires inflated to recommended pressure;
- Use air-conditioning selectively;
- Observe posted speed limits.
The complete list of on-farm fuel-efficiency recommendations may be viewed at the California Farm Bureau Web site, www.cfbf.com. Follow the link from the home page, or click on Issues & Action, then Energy, then on Fuel Efficiency on the Farm.
More information about the Flex Your Power at the Pump campaign may be found at its Web site, www.fypower.org.
Permission for use is granted, however, credit must be made to the California Farm Bureau Federation when reprinting this item.Top