Equipment Forum: Case IH promotes biodiesel use

Professional crop producers looking to cash in on cash crops need look no further than their own (bio) diesel fuel source.

When approved supplies are available, every engine powering Case IH equipment globally is leaving the factory with a biodiesel blend in the tank. And, all Case IH engines are warranted for approved B5 blends and most engines are warranted up to the B20 level.

“One hundred percent factory fill of a biodiesel blend is a logical next step in the process of embracing biodiesel,” says Randy Baker, president of Case IH North America. “Adding to demand for soybeans while producing the crop is the type of strategy our customers like to pursue,” Baker says. “It’s good environmental stewardship,” he points out, “and it’s good business.

“It’s our policy that the only time a piece of our equipment leaves a factory without biodiesel in the tank, it’s because the fuel is unavailable seasonally, or we don’t have a source that meets our quality standards,” Baker says.

Case IH agricultural equipment fully supports use of B5 blends (5 percent biodiesel and 95 percent petroleum-based diesel) on all engines they manufacture. In addition, use of 20 percent blends is approved on all Case IH engines other than common rail.

In addition, field testing is being conducted to determine performance levels of blends up to 100 percent biodiesel as part of a program to ensure maximum productivity and engine durability.

Warranties back up the factory fill policy. “They cover everything from a Case IH Farmall DX31 to our Steiger 530,” Baker says. “As long as engine maintenance procedures are followed, and in-spec blends are purchased from a reputable supplier, biodiesel blends from B5 through B20 can be used in any Case IH engine in operation today.

“In addition, Case IH and our engine partner companies are continuously testing new and higher biodiesel blends and engine configurations to provide our customers with the most up to date information.”

Fuel quality has an impact on the engine warranty. B5 blends must meet the requirements of U.S. standard ASTM6751 on the base biodiesel stock. When using higher 20 percent blends, certain handling and maintenance requirements come into play, and customers are advised to speak with their dealers on specific requirements.

“Be sure to talk with your Case IH dealer if you have any questions about fuel handling and engine service requirements,” Baker says. “To confirm what level of biodiesel is appropriate for your equipment, please visit the product pages of where we provide biodiesel service recommendations, as well as recommended blends.”

It just makes sense that the interest in biodiesel continues to grow with Case IH customers, Baker says. “The American Soybean Association estimates a recovery of 1.5 gallons of biodiesel from every bushel of soybeans processed. It also estimates that 75 million gallons of biodiesel were produced in the United States last year. Almost all of that was from soybeans.”

One farmer wholeheartedly supporting the move to biofuels is Alan Kemper. He farms grain and cattle near Lafayette, Ind., as well as serves as a vice-president with the American Soybean Association. Kemper has experience with the growth of biofuels from both an ethanol and biodiesel perspective, and anticipates biodiesel use ramping up much more quickly than ethanol, partly as a result of manufacturers’ warranties.

“We promoted ethanol use for 10 or 15 years before manufacturers’ warranted the performance of gas engines for ethanol blends. With agribusinesses like Case IH supporting biodiesel use much earlier in the process, we have an opportunity to expand this market rapidly. I think we’re going to look back five years from now and really be amazed at how far biodiesel has come.”

Kemper switched to biodiesel as soon as supplies of high quality blends were available in his area. Performance hasn’t been an issue. “We’re running a Case IH Axial-Flow 2388, and the combine has plenty of power.

“As a Case IH customer, I respect the company’s multi-faceted commitment to renewable fuels, essentially putting their money where their mouth is with warranties, use of locally-sourced biodiesel blends at their facilities and future product testing.”

Kemper’s use of biofuels aligns with the Case IH approach. Every powered vehicle on his farm uses a biofuel. “All of our gas engines run E10 and depending on the season, the diesels have B2 or B5 in them. Farmers really like getting their income from the marketplace vs. the government, and using biofuels helps support stronger markets.”

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