Growers who irrigated with emissions-compliant, propane-powered irrigation engines reduced fuel costs by more than 40 percent in 2014, according to research results from the Propane Education & Research Council’s Propane Farm Incentive Program.

“Results show that propane engines are economical, reliable and offer the performance needed by today’s farmers,” said Cinch Munson, PERC’s director of agriculture business development. “Alternative fuel engines running on propane cost less to purchase and operate than Tier-4-compliant diesel options, and the performance is excellent.”

Participating growers from 21 states installed and tested 87 propane-powered irrigation engines from seven different manufacturers. Over the course of 2014, participants used the engines to irrigate nearly 9,000 acres of 10 different crops.

Propane engines also garnered positive performance and satisfaction ratings from growers. In a post-season survey, 95 percent rated engine performance as a four or five on a five-point scale. The same percentage said they would purchase another propane engine and recommend propane engines to other growers.

On top of increased efficiency and fuel savings, recent research shows that propane engines reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 11 percent versus diesel, and 20 percent compared with gasoline, notes PERC’s director.

“Today’s propane engines are built from the ground up to run on propane, which leads to greater reliability and efficiency,” Munson said. “Not only do they cut growers’ costs, but they do so while using an American-made energy source that’s better for the environment.”

PERC’s Propane Farm Incentive Program offers up to $5,000 toward new propane engines, grain dryers, building heaters, and other agricultural equipment. More about eligible equipment, incentives  and grower testimonials are at propane.com/farmincentive.