Award-winning Somerset cheesemaker Wyke Farms Ltd has been testing the first methane-powered prototype tractor to arrive in the UK. Wyke Farms strives for 100% green operations and sees the tractor, model T6.180 developed by New Holland, as “a perfect fit”. The tractor has 80% less polluting emissions than a standard diesel tractor and can run entirely on biomethane derived from waste and produced by on-farm Anaerobic Digestion Plants.
Wyke Farms already has three large anaerobic digesters producing energy on site. “We can’t think of a better fit for renewables – the fuel for the tractor which harvests our crops to feed our cows, starts life as poo from the same herd – it can’t get better than that!” states the press release.
“So we’ve been lucky enough to have a ride & use it on our farm, we’ve got the technology and resource to fuel it, now we just need New Holland to roll out the real thing so we can have complete energy independence on the farm, making our business fully fit for the future!”
New Holland’s second generation T6.180 Methane Power tractor, which is a key element of New Holland Agriculture’s Clean Energy Leader strategy – launched 10 years ago to increase farming efficiency and sustainability – can be powered with methane (natural gas) or biomethane. The tractor is equipped with 9 tanks able to hold approx. 300 litres (52 kg) of methane and a 6 cylinder, 179 HP max power engine.
The New Holland T6 methane tractor was trialled in Spain before arriving in the UK and has now returned to its testing ground at the La Bellotta Farm, outside Turin, Italy where it was subsequently equipped with a ripper and demonstrated before European interested parties. These tests reconfirmed the positive feedback received from testing in Italy, Spain and in the United Kingdom, which not only demonstrate the operational capacities of the tractor but also its qualities in fuel cost savings of 25 to 40% in comparison to diesel, and its sustainability with 80% less polluting emissions if compared to the equivalent diesel model. If bio-methane is used, the tractor’s global carbon impact is virtually zero.
(Sources: Wyke Farms, CNH Industrial)