Across two of the hottest days of the year, approximately 20,000 people gathered in Punchestown Arena, Co Kildare, for the 2022 FTMTA Farm Machinery Show.
he event, no longer limited to farm machinery, showcased a large range of plant machinery from a number of exhibitors for the first time.
One machine which drew a lot of interest from the crowd was the T6 Methane Power tractor from New Holland.
This particular model arrived here in early July and is the world’s first 100pc methane-powered production tractor.
It was the first time the tractor appeared in the Republic of Ireland, having previously been displayed in the North.
Sales Area Manager for the Republic of Ireland, Liam Hayde, told the Farming Independent that the methane-powered version of the T6 is 20pc more expensive than the conventional model.
“Today, this tractor is for sale and comes with a price tag of €125,000. With just the integrated methane storage, the tractor can complete three to four hours of heavy work,” said Hayde.
“With the range extender, the tractor can work for up to eight hours at max capacity and up to 10 hours at average use.”
The range extender weighs 350kg while empty and serves a dual purpose as a front counterweight.
Powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), more commonly known as methane, the tractor has a max horsepower of 180, top speed of 50km/h and a max lift capacity of 7,864kg.
“There are two of these tractors currently working in the UK, 50 working in Germany, and altogether there are 100 in operation across Europe. One of the tractors in the UK is working on a large veg farm and the other is at a biogas plant,” said Hayde.
The model can be refilled directly from the gas grid network or at biomass stations, including those on farms.
The tractor comes with the same levels of power and torque as its diesel equivalent and the user benefits from up to 30pc lower running costs, New Holland claims.
Producing 99pc less particulate matter, reducing CO2 emissions by 10pc and overall emissions by 80pc, when using biomethane, near-zero CO2 emissions are achievable.
It is hoped technology from Cornwall-based company, Bennamann, will make fuelling this tractor possible for more farmers in Ireland.
Using the Bannamann system, livestock farms of any size can cover their slurry lagoons and capture the fugitive emissions they produce.
It is hoped this will lead to greater energy independence, improve profitability through reduced energy and fertiliser bills, as well as the potential to sell biomethane fuel.
With this new system, New Holland claims enough methane from a 700-cow herd could fuel their T6 for a normal day’s work.
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