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Agriculture Subcommittee

ag equipment

Why is Blue Skyways important to Agriculture?


There is a potential for the production and use of energy from the agricultural community

Biofuels are becoming more important to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil

Diesel fuel powers more than two-thirds of all U.S. agricultural equipment

Agricultural equipment emits nearly one-quarter of the nitrogen oxides and one-third of the fine particulate matter of all land-based, non-road diesel emissions

Voluntary options that reduce air pollution and diesel emissions can improve profit margins



There are many ways to reduce costs and diesel emissions from agricultural equipment, including:

  • Keeping equipment well-maintained
  • Reducing engine idling
  • Using cleaner fuels such as ultra-low sulfur diesel or biodiesel
  • Retrofitting existing diesel equipment with verified technologies, such as diesel oxidation catalysts and diesel particulate filters
  • Replacing the engine in an older diesel machine, or replacing the entire machine

Some of these options, such as engine idling and equipment maintenance can produce substantial cost savings. Funds may be available through Blue Skyways to help support the retrofitting and/or replacement of existing engines.


Farmers can adopt strategies such as crop residue management, using conservation-till or no-till farming techniques. These strategies allow farmers to cultivate more crops in less time, while substantially lowering their fuel costs. EPA studies show that by switching to a no-till system, a corn farmer on an average-size American farm - about 441 acres - would reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 1,122 pounds a year. That's the same as taking 29 cars off the road for an entire year.  Using conservation-till could produce emission reductions equal to taking 15 cars off the road for a year.

Read "Clearing the Air by NOT Tilling the Soil"

Blue Skyways is committed to promoting the use of agricultural practices that reduce fuel use.


Biofuels are largest U.S. renewable energy source every year since 2000. They also provide the only renewable alternative for liquid transportation fuel. The use of biomass strengthens rural economies, decreases America's dependence on imported oil, avoids use of toxic fuel additives, reduces air and water pollution, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Blue Skyways is committed to the promotion and implementation of projects focused on biofuels such as: Providing information to the public encouraging the use of biofuels in all areas, introducing E85 into the fuel supply in areas where it does not exist, and showcasing biodiesel production and usage in and around the agricultural community.


Cost-conscious farmers and ranchers have become increasingly aware of the impact that energy has on their bottom line. Energy savings on any farm or ranch mean a better financial bottom line. These savings start with efficiency and conservation. Besides finding ways to consume less fuels and electricity, many producers are making use of wind, biofuel, biogas, or solar energy on their own farms. Others are generating and exporting energy as a cash crop, for use off the farm. About a third of all energy used in U.S. agriculture goes to commercial fertilizer and pesticide production, the most energy-intensive of all farm inputs. Many producers are saving money by reducing these "indirect" forms of energy consumption.

Blue Skyways is involved in many energy related activities and there are several connections between energy and agriculture.

The clean diesel construction video for municipals has been completed and is located on the front page of NEDC's (Northeast Diesel Collaborative) website -

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