Submitted to: Extension Publications
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/8/2006
Publication Date: 5/8/2006
Citation: Fulton, J., Raper, R.L., Mcdonald, T., Tyson, T. 2006. Fuel conservation strategies for the farm. Alabama Cooperative Extension System Timely Information Sheets BSEN-06-02, April 2006. Interpretive Summary: As fuel prices have climbed, agricultural producers are increasingly searching for methods of decreasing their fuel usage. Several management strategies are covered in this article which seeks to minimize fuel usage for production agricultural systems. Producers who adopt ideas that include reducing excess weight on equipment, inflating tires to appropriate pressures, avoiding soil compaction by not trafficking wet fields, using site-specific tillage, and adopting conservation agricultural systems can dramatically reduce their need for fuel and minimize production costs.
Technical Abstract: Recent increases in fuel prices have generated another cost concern for farmers. As with most farm inputs, fuel is one of several input costs that have continued to increase over the years. However, fuel prices have taken a dramatic jump in price over a short period. While input costs continue to rise, commodity prices tend to be stable prompting farmers to reduce costs where possible to maintain profit margins. Therefore, fuel usage is one area that farmers can focus on in order to preserve their economic return. This Timely Information Sheet outlines several management strategies or ideas that farmers might consider for conserving fuel on farm. The ideas presented are only suggestions which could potentially lead to the reduction in fuel use, but more importantly on-farm savings. The important strategy is to try and plan field and other activities in an attempt to minimize the number of trips and time associated with them. The list of considerations is broken into three sections. The first section provides considerations for all equipment and vehicles while the second focuses on tractors and other large equipment. The third and final section provides considerations for other on-farm vehicles, primarily light and heavy duty trucks.