Source: The Propane Education & Research Council

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has introduced the Propane Farm Equipment Efficiency Demonstration (FEED) program.

In exchange for participation in this short demonstration program, the Propane FEED program provides a financial incentive to selected agricultural producers toward the purchase of four types of propane-fueled equipment - irrigation engines, Red Dragon poultry house flame sanitizers, tankless water heaters and lawn mowers.

"The purpose of the Propane FEED program is simple," said PERC Director of Agriculture Programs Mark Leitman. "We want to demonstrate the performance and efficiency of new propane-fueled equipment for farms and rural businesses. The Propane FEED program will help selected users buy it and put it to work in their operations."

Eligible Equipment

  • Modern propane-fueled irrigation engines can help farmers save money. A University of Nebraska study found that propane-fueled irrigation engines can cost up to 30 percent less than diesel to buy and use in the first year. The Propane FEED program can help selected farmers cover about 20 percent of the total engine cost.

  • Poultry house flame sanitizers offer a cost-effective and more environmentally friendly alternative to chemicals for poultry house sanitation. The Propane FEED program will cover up to 18 percent of the retail cost of poultry house flame sanitizers.

  • Propane tankless water heaters conserve energy and reduce costs by heating water only when hot water is needed. The water heaters can provide hot water for sanitation for dairies and other farm processing applications. The Propane FEED program covers more than 40 percent of the retail cost of selected models of propane tankless water heaters.

  • Propane-fueled lawn mowers can reduce fuel costs up to 20 percent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 25 percent compared with gasoline. They can be used for lawn maintenance at agritourism farms, vineyards, stables, and more. The Propane FEED program reduces the cost by 10 to 12 percent depending on the model of lawn mower.

"In exchange for PERC's support, we ask the user to commit to using the propane equipment for at least one year, provide regular reports on how the equipment performs, and allow us to photograph the equipment when appropriate," Leitman said. "This will allow us to collect the information we need to measure the effectiveness of this equipment in the field."

Any U.S. farmer or rural businessperson is eligible for the program. An applicant simply determines which piece of equipment he or she is interested in buying and fills out the easy two-page application. Applicants then are evaluated on a first-come, first-served, case-by-case basis. If selected, the applicant receives the incentive payment directly. During the yearlong demonstration period, PERC and the applicant remain in contact to monitor the performance of the equipment.

Only new equipment is eligible for the program. Refurbished or modified equipment will not be considered because PERC wants farmers to experience the most efficient versions of the technology. Producers may purchase more than one of the four different technologies to maximize incentives, but only one version of the same technology will be eligible for an incentive.

For more information on the Propane FEED program and details on how to apply, click here.