Efficient20 Fuels Royal Interestr.mannion | Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 | No Comments »
Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne today met farmers participating in the Efficient20 fuel-saving project when she visited the Staffordshire Rural Hub this afternoon.
300 farmers from across 9 European countries are taking part in the EU funded project to monitor their tractor fuel consumption and implement fuel saving techniques to reduce both CO2 emissions and running costs.
Her Royal Highness met with members of the Hub along with Rob Mannion, Managing Director of Ruralnet Futures and Bryce MacKellar of Home Farm, Chartley, Staffordshire who, using fuel measuring equipment on his tractors, is recording his fuel usage for different types of arable work. The project offers farmers training in eco-driving, and advice on how to reduce fuel consumption through improved tractor maintenance, correct implement set-up and choosing the optimal power and speed for the job.
Co-ordinating the project in the UK, Ruralnet Futures is working with Staffordshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire Rural Hubs running farmers’ pilot groups in the three counties, with farmers in Warwickshire and Oxfordshire also taking part.
Rob Mannion, commented “With red diesel prices averaging nearly 65p/litre in June1, up 25% in the last twelve months, reducing fuel usage has become not just an environmental goal for farmers but a key component in lowering input costs and improving the bottom line”.
Ruralnet Futures is also working with Harper Adams University College on developing eco-tractor-driving training and bringing some of their specialist expertise in precision farming to the project. Tyre manufacture Firestone is also involved, having just launched the world’s first agricultural tyre pressure calculator for a smartphone, helping farmers to match their tyre pressures with the work they are doing.