Among the most common uses for propane on the farm are grain drying, irrigation, and building heat – but there are many more ways that propane can benefit an agricultural operation.
Propane Education and Research Council agricultural director Cinch Munson says currently about 40 percent of the farms in the United States use propane. “There’s a lot of new equipment on the market that runs on propane that can apply to a farming operation,” said Munson. “This includes propane autogas pickups, fork lifts, mowers…there’s a lot of options.”
Munson says propane powers equipment as good or better than gasoline or diesel, with similar performance at a lower cost with less environmental impact. “Propane provides that economic advantage people are looking for,” he said.
Propane powered generators can provide some other advantages for on-farm use. “Propane is a fuel that stores really well,” said Munson. “When the power goes out, it’s ready to go. You don’t have to worry about fuel stabilizer, about fuel going bad, or someone sneaking in to steal that fuel…that’s a big advantage when you look at a back-up generator that may sit for months or years before you need it.”
Propane standby systems can deliver up to 125 kilowatts of power, and after utility power returns, the generator shuts itself off and waits for the next outage.