As electricity prices climb and engines are becoming more complex to meet emissions standards, propane equipment has become very appealing. Even for high horsepower applications.
Cinch Munson is the director of agriculture business development for the Propane Education and Research Council. He says in the past five-years, they’ve partnered with over a half-dozen engine manufacturers to develop over 30 new models of irrigation engines.
"That are more efficient and cleaner than they’ve ever been before, and they’re extremely reliable, built to run on propane. Making a switch to a propane engine from let’s say, a diesel engine, it’s going to cost about half as much, 30%-50% less to buy that irrigation engine upfront," says Munson. "And then to operate that engine, it’s going to save 30%-50% in operating costs hour, after hour, after hour."
Munson says they’ve also invested in new grain dryer technologies and weed flaming equipment to improve efficiencies in those areas.
You don’t have to worry about the propane supply. There’s plenty to go around.
"Right now in the U.S., there is an abundance of propane. It’s a co-product of natural gas production, natural gas production’s growing, so is propane production. Fact is, right now we’re a net exporter of propane which means ultimately, the price of propane is good," he says. "And another advantage, it’s clean and it’s an American-made fuel. So, it’s great source of energy, and it’s cost-effective as well."
Propane also meets all environmental standards.
Learn more about the latest in propane technology on the farm