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European project launched to help farmers cut fuel costs

Date: 15/05/2013 12:07:51
Category: Agricultural machinery tracking
Author: Deborah Bates

Top tips will be issued to farmers across Europe on how to cut their fuel costs, thanks to a new project entitled 'Efficient 20'.  

Funded by the European Commission, the project was created to help farmers monitor and reduce their fuel consumption, helping to make their fleets more efficient.

The project aims to reduce famers' carbon emissions by 20 per cent too, in line with the government's pledge to do the same by the year 2020, fwi.co.uk reports. To help the project achieve its aims, European farmers are getting involved - in more ways than one.

For example, Ed Lea, the operations manager of the Warwickshire-based Sandfields Farms, changed the tyre pressures on the farms' agricultural vehicles.

"Reducing tyre pressure from 1.3 bar to 0.6 bar reduced fuel consumption to 21.6 litres/ha, a fuel saving of 22 per cent or 40 litres a day," Lea confirmed. "We also found that running at the lower tyre pressure meant the tractor covered 15 per cent more land [from better traction[, which had added savings on labour and tractor running costs, as well as reduced compaction."

At present, the fuel efficiency of agricultural machinery doesn't appear to be all that important to farmers when buying a new vehicle - even though costs of diesel account for almost half of a tractor's overall running costs. The project (and results like Lea's) may well cause this to change, though.

So far, some 2,000 'operations' from throughout the European farming industry have been recorded, efficient20.eu confirmed - hopefully providing some useful data and guidance for farmers across the EU.

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