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Propane FEED Technology Earns High Marks from Participants
WASHINGTON (April 6, 2012) — An agriculture research program funded and operated by the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) in 2011 showed that new propane-fueled technology delivered farm products that brought greater results and consumed less fuel, according to a survey of program participants.
Participants in the 2011 Propane FEED research program of new propane-fueled technology for the farm said the products in a field test lowered their fuel consumption and performed better than the products they had used previously. The participants said they were likely or highly likely to choose propane-fueled technology when purchasing the product in the future.
The products – grain dryers, irrigation engines, and mowers – were part of PERC’s Propane FEED, a research program that tests the performance of new technology in real-world agricultural settings. Producers who enroll in the program are offered a financial incentive in exchange for recording and reporting performance data of the equipment being tested.
Last year, 67 participants in 20 states participated in Propane FEED, including five grain dryer users, 32 irrigation engine participants, and 30 that used a mower. Of these, 60 completed surveys on their use of the products. While the survey numbers are limited and the results qualitative only, the feedback was solid and informative.
Respondents of the 2011 Propane FEED program Grain Dryers survey reduced their propane fuel consumption per bushel by 25 percent compared to their old propane dryers.
Four out of five respondents scored the performance of their new Mathews Company propane-fueled grain dryer higher than or equal to the performance of their old grain dryer.
All respondents said that they are highly likely to choose propane for their next grain dryer.
All respondents would recommend their Mathews Company grain dryer to others based on their experience.
Respondents to the 2011 Propane FEED program Irrigation Engines survey reduced their fuel consumption per hour by almost 43 percent and their operating costs per hour by more than 40 percent, compared with their old irrigation engines.
Seventy-five percent of respondents scored the performance of their new propane-fueled irrigation engine higher than the performance of their old irrigation engine.
More than 70 percent said that they are likely or highly likely to choose propane when purchasing their next irrigation engine.
Approximately 90 percent rated the performance of their new propane-fueled irrigation engine as a four or five on a five-point scale, with five being high-performing.
Respondents to the 2011 Propane FEED program Mowers survey scored the performance of their new propane-fueled mower an average of nearly 20 percent higher than the performance of their old diesel- or gasoline-fueled mower.
More than 85 percent said that they are likely or highly likely to choose propane when purchasing their next mower.
Ninety-six percent rated the performance of their new propane-fueled mower as a four or five on a five-point scale, with five being high-performing.
Participants who replaced old propane-fueled mowers reduced their propane consumption per hour by more than 50 percent.
The goal of the Propane FEED program is to develop usable, worthwhile data that can inform potential customers and the research and development process. Osborn & Barr distributed the two surveys to the accepted Propane FEED program applicants – one prior to the demonstration of their equipment, and the second to gather data and perceptions about the use, performance, and maintenance needs of the propane-fueled equipment.
All findings are representative of the responses from participants included in the 2011 FEED program. Cost calculations (e.g. “Cost per Hour”) included in the report are normalized based on the average value of fuel prices per gallon as reported by the participants specific to each FEED product class (grain dryers, irrigation engines, and mowers).