The Efficient 20 programme has just completed its first UK tests to identify fuel savings in farming. The EU wide project has nearly 300 pliots running througout 10 countries, with nearly 25 based in the UK. Firestone, the agricultural division of Bridgestone Tyres are official partners to the project and in conjuction with them Ruralnet Futures conducted the first UK tests in Ludlow, Shropshire. Through our links with various rural hubs we contacted a local organic farmer, John Lewis. For the test we used an 8000 hour John Deere 6910 tractor coupled with a five-furrow Dowdeswell plough. The Efficient 20 programme supplied Mr Lewis with an accurate fuel flow meter and the tests were completed over several 30-minute ploughing sessions. For the first of the 30 minute tests the tyres were overinflated to 23 psi all round and for the second 30-minute test they were deflated to 14psi on the front axel and 17psi on the rears. This immediately resulted in a 5% saving in fuel consumption. For the next test we replaced Mr Lewis’s tyres with a larger tyres, thus providing a wider footprint and reduced soil compaction. Through a combination of applying the correct tyre pressure and by selecting a larger tyre size, this ultimately led to a reduction of a further 30% in fuel consumption. Applying these simple measures and using recent red diesel prices of around 70ppl, could easily lead to over £50 savings per day per farmer for 10 hours ploughing activity.
Further articles relating to to the Efficient 20 Programme:
If you like to learn more about this project please contact the Ruralnet Futures team here