SRC Power Systems' new 8.8-liter propane irrigation engine, offers farmers a new, affordable alternative to costly Tier 4 diesel engines.

SRC Power Systems, a division of one of the nation's leading producers of off-road engines, partnered with the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) to bring the new dedicated propane engine to market. PERC provided industry expertise and financial support throughout the research, development, and testing process.

"One of our top priorities is developing new propane-powered technologies that advance energy efficiency in the agriculture space," Cinch Munson, PERC's director of agriculture business development, said. "As the need for certified and emissions-compliant irrigation engines has grown, we've partnered with leading original equipment manufacturers, like SRC, to develop engines that ensure farmers? power needs can be met as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible."

Available for purchase in October, the 8.8-liter is SRC's highest horsepower propane engine. Internal testing of the new engine shows it can significantly reduce farmers' input costs, according to Kevin Snyder, a sales manager with SRC Power Systems.

"If a farmer is running the engine an average of 1,000 hours per year, they can save up to $3,000 in fuel costs each year, compared to a similar diesel engine," Snyder said. "Over the course of the engine's long lifespan, that savings can equal as much as $45,000."

When used for agricultural applications, the 8.8-liter engine offers approximately 30-40 more horsepower than similar diesel engines, making it ideal for pumping deep irrigation wells.

"That means more power at a lower fuel cost," Snyder said. "It's a cost savings to the farmers and it's an environmentally-friendly way to irrigate our nation?s crops."

According to a post-season survey of farmers who participated in the PERC 2013 Propane Farm Incentive Program, farmers who installed propane-powered irrigation engines cut fuel costs by 56 percent per hour, compared with similar diesel engines. Farmers also reported reducing overall fuel consumption by 37 percent per hour.

SRC's new 8.8-liter engine qualifies for a $3,520 incentive through the 2014 PERC Propane Farm Incentive Program. Producers interested in the new engine and the incentive program can see it at the Nebraska Propane Gas Association booth, No. 550, at Husker Harvest Days, Sept. 9-11 in Grand Island, Neb. It will also be on display at the Georgia Propane Gas Association lot, C-10, at the Sunbelt Ag Expo, October 14-16 in Moultrie, Ga.

Find out more about the 2014 Propane Farm Incentive Program and see a list of eligible equipment at propane.com/agriculture.