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October 20, 2016   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

Powering America’s Bountiful Harvest

In the agricultural sector, there is no cost-effective substitute for diesel engines with the same combination of energy efficiency, power and performance, durability and reliability.


U.S. agriculture is the envy of the world. Since World War II, as U.S. farms increased in size, they also become more mechanized and productive, shifting in the process from animal power, to gasoline-powered machinery to more efficient and powerful diesel-powered equipment.

In a recent conversation with John Deere’s Chief Powertrain Technology, Xinqun Gui, he talked about the role that diesel has played in shaping agriculture over the last century “In the last 100 years, we’ve seen a revolution in agricultural productivity through mechanization. Diesel engines have always powered this revolution. In the foreseeable future, diesel engines will continue to play that role to take our country into the next century.”

One reason why U.S. agriculture is among the most productive and economically valuable in the world; producing more yield in less time with fewer inputs, is thanks to the advancements in tractors and machines and the power of the diesel engine. Diesel technology helps us realize our agricultural bounty while the latest generation of diesel technology helps us deliver this bounty with minimal impact to our environment.

Diesel is the technology of choice, powering more than two-thirds of all farm equipment, transporting 90 percent of harvested products and pumping one-fifth of its irrigation water. Farm tractors, combines, irrigation pumps and other equipment are the workhorses in an industry vital to our national economy and quality of life.

In the agricultural sector, there is no cost-effective substitute for diesel engines with the same combination of energy efficiency, power and performance, durability and reliability. With the beginning of the fall harvest season, farmers are relying on diesel to power the agricultural equipment needed to gather and process crops, as well as the vehicles transporting crops to market. Diesel dominates the entire "farm supply chain" - planting the product, tending the crop (watering, fertilizers, and pesticides), harvesting the product and even bringing the product to market by truck, rail or ship.

Farmers have been investing in new tractors and harvesters that are using the most fuel efficient, productive and cleanest technology available. These fourth-generation ("Tier 4") engines are the cleanest diesel engines ever produced. A new 2016 tractor has about 90 percent fewer emissions compared to a ten-year old tractor. It uses ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, in an advanced clean-burning diesel engine with the most sophisticated emissions control technology in the world.

The good thing for America's air quality is that clean diesel technology is now the standard for all new technology, everything from new passenger vehicles to highway commercial trucks to off-road equipment including the construction and forestry sectors along with agriculture.

To meet the leaders in clean diesel agricultural engines and equipment visit AGCOCaterpillarCNH Industrial,  IsuzuJohn DeereVolvo, and Yanmar.



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Ezra Finkin
Director, Policy
efinkin@dieselforum.org
301-668-7230

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