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Diesel changes, four-cylinder engines on the way

Gil Gullickson 01/09/2013 @ 1:57pm Crops Technology Editor for Successful Farming magazine/Agriculture.com

In our February issue, we will profile some new machinery technology that will impact your crop production efficiency. Here are a couple others that you will see, says Matt Rushing, product management director, global electronics and global engines at AGCO.

Diesel Changes

Diesel is the lifeblood of the machinery that powers your planting, weed control, and harvest of crops. 

Yet, it faces some substantial challenges in the future from federal regulators. The next round of emission legislation is currently projected for 2018-2020, says Rushing. Some changes you may see include: 

  • Limitations on carbon dioxide emissions that will be managed by reduced fuel consumption.
  • Full onboard diagnosis of emissions may be required and compliant with federal regulations. 
  • Improved fuel quality standards.
  • Additional particulate regulation. This is a substance that’s been pegged as contributing to climate change and health issues. It results from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuels and biomass. 

Still, one factor is clear, says Rushing. “Diesel power will be the main of power for agriculture for at least the next 20 years.”

Four-Cylinder Engines

Emissions legislation and higher costs for engine after treatment technology will mean smaller engines. Rushing notes four cylinder engines will replace some six-cylinder engines in the 100- to 130-horsepower tractor range. Although smaller, they will have increased power density, says Rushing.

On the other end, machinery will continue to grow in size. There will be need to tractors in the 800 horsepower and above range. To drive these larger implements, higher torque will be needed, he says.

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