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 or biomethane, and has been previewed and tested by some customers on July 14 at the La Bellotta farm, located near Turin, which is the first pilot Energy Independent Farm.
Among those to experience first hand the operative potentialities and sustainable qualities of the New Holland methane powered tractor were a German customer of the brand, who is the owner of a farm and operator of a biogas plant, and the President of the German association of biogas plants, who has also been a pioneer in biomethane fuelling stations in Germany.
They were joined by three young farmers who were recently awarded in Brussels for their innovative and sustainable projects during the Third European Congress of Young Farmers, sponsored by New Holland: Alicia Pardo Garcia from Spain, who operates a horse farm and produces organic mare’s milk near Madrid, Henrique Corrêa Silvestre Ferreira from Portugal, who produces high quality seedless table grapes in the region of Alentejo, and Petko Simeonov from Bulgaria who produces organic honey near Sofia.
Fitted 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 T6.180 Methane Power tractor was equipped with a ripper. 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.
In Italy the T6 Methane Power was tested with good results by the Maccarese farm near Rome to roll the fields before and after seeding. In Spain, the tractor worked at the grape and olive producer Bodegas Torres, which has been committed to using alternative energies and reducing polluting emissions since 2008. In the United Kingdom, the prototype was tested successfully by Wyke Farms in Somerset, which is one of the country’s biggest Cheddar cheese producers and owner of a biogas plant, and by Worthy Farm, home to the famous Glastonbury music festival.
Overall, the tractor has clocked more than 100 hours of operation performing different activities: cultivation, road transport and work with a front loader.
Testing of the New Holland T6.180 Methane Power will continue at La Bellotta during July and August. In September the prototype will tour other European markets.