Thanks to their unique combination of features, diesel engines are the workhorses of America’s farms and agricultural operations, powering more than three-quarters of all farm tractors, harvesters, pickers, pumps, machines and other specialty agricultural equipment. This is a success story for the San Joaquin Valley that will help ensure continued emissions-reduction and clean air progress for the region.
The fuel saving and emissions-reducing benefits of new-technology farm equipment will be realized by more California farms thanks to incentive programs like the Funding Agricultural Replacement Measures for Emission Reductions (FARMER) Program, being recognized on Monday in Fresno, Calif.
The following is a statement from Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, an industry association based in Frederick, Md., which also maintains an active presence in California, on the occasion of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s crushing of an old tractor and unveiling of a replacement, new Tier 4 clean diesel tractor to highlight the value of the FARMER Program.
Representatives from the Diesel Technology Forum and industry equipment dealers will be attending the event and are available for interviews. Contact Sarah Dirndorfer at [email protected], (301) 668-7230 or Tom Fulks at (916) 508-3837.Statement from Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director, Diesel Technology Forum“The San Joaquin Valley is home to one of the most important industries in California – agriculture – making it the No. 1 food-producing region in the nation. It deserves more access and funds for programs like the FARMER Program that are not only popular, but also proven in the outcomes they deliver. Today’s event, announcing $108 million in funding, is a great start.
“We applaud the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District for its effective administration of the FARMER Program. This is a success story for the San Joaquin Valley that will help ensure continued emissions-reduction and clean air progress for the region. Such programs are a win-win-win: farmers get help acquiring new, more reliable and productive machines. These machines are available today and can dramatically lower emissions. And, these machines are more efficient, saving fuel and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“Farmers are good stewards of the land and essential contributors to California’s economy. Yet, according to the Diesel Technology Forum’s recent public opinion survey, only one out of four residents in the Central Valley feel that air quality has improved over the past decade. This compares to 40 percent of survey respondents statewide who believe air quality has improved. Some 74 percent of Central Valley respondents also recognize that cleaner diesel engines and fuels contribute to better air quality; this was second highest regional recognition level in the state.
“It’s time for the California Air Resources Board and the California Legislature to be good stewards of the state’s climate investments and carbon cap-and-trade funds, and allocate more dollars to proven and beneficial near-term programs like the FARMER program.
“Thanks to their unique combination of features, diesel engines are the workhorses of America’s farms and agricultural operations, powering more than three-quarters of all farm tractors, harvesters, pickers, pumps, machines and other specialty agricultural equipment. Unlike passenger cars or other vehicles, tractors and machines are very durable and last a long time. The latest generation of advanced diesel technology, known as Tier 4, achieves dramatic emissions reductions compared to previous generations.
“Getting more of these newest engines into service will deliver immediate benefits to Central Valley communities, as well as the farmers who use them. Replacing older generations of equipment with the latest generation Tier 4 diesel models reduces emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and fine particles by more than 90 percent.
“The FARMER program will go a long way to delivering these needed emission reductions by replacing older agricultural equipment with all the innovations available from new-technology diesel engines that also make them more productive and efficient. Unlike other programs funded by cap-and-trade dollars, these investments go to work today, delivering emissions reductions without requiring new refueling infrastructure or other ancillary and costly investments. The latest innovations, such as those on display today, will continue to deliver California’s agricultural bounty alongside emission reduction benefits to the communities they serve for years to come.”