No-till, Biodiesel Helping Farmers’ Bottom Lines

John Davis

Farmers are facing the same $3-plus-a-gallon fuel costs everyone else is today. According to this story in the Peoria (IL) Journal Star, Patrick Kirchhofer, manager of the Peoria County Farm Bureau says farmers can save by leaving residue on their fields, not plowing them. A University of Illinois study says a 1,000-acre farm that might normally spend $29,500 in fuel could save as much as $13,000 by using no-till.

And farmers are saving money by using homegrown biodiesel in their equipment:

Higher gas prices are also encouraging the use of biofuels by farmers, said Kirchhofer. “While higher gas prices aren’t good for either farmers or motorists, it does encourage the development of alternatives to imported oil,” he said.

One of those alternatives, biodiesel – a blend of vegetable oil and diesel fuel – is a favorite among farmers, said John Papenhause, an energy specialist with Agland FS in Pekin. “I’d say 80 to 90 percent of the farmers around here use some blend of biodiesel,” he said.