Propane Powered Farming
North Carolina is one of the most diversified agricultural states in the country, with more than 80 different crops and commodities grown here. North Carolina leads the country in sweet potato, egg and poultry production, and ranks in the top three for Christmas trees, pork, trout and turkeys.
Other key crops include blueberries, peanuts, and tobacco.
The agriculture industry supports more than 700,000 jobs. That’s one-sixth of the state’s income and employment. Agriculture is North Carolina’s top industry, followed by the military and tourism.*
Propane works all around the farm
North Carolina farmers rely a lot on propane to get the job done. That’s because propane and propane-powered farm equipment and vehicles help cut costs and maximize the efficiency of labor.
Here are just some of the ways propane can work for farms in North Carolina:
- Livestock barn heating. Many farmers use propane-fueled building heaters in their operations. This is a valuable addition for farmers who need efficient heat. Keeping animal containment areas like hog and chicken structures heated during the cold winter months is just one of the important ways propane helps on the farm.
- Farm vehicles. Propane can power trucks, tractors, forklifts and more. Because it burns cleanly, propane-powered vehicles need less maintenance and last longer.
- Irrigation engines. The new propane-fueled engines are more efficient than older propane models and can provide farmers with an immediate savings in fuel costs compared with diesel or gasoline. Plus, propane-fueled irrigation engines are better for the environment.
- Grain dryers. Harvesting early, while the crop retains small amounts of moisture, reduces grain field losses. The extra grain harvested, can more than make up for the cost of propane drying. New propane-fueled units distribute a very precise heat, which ensures that the grain dries evenly, resulting in a high-quality yield.
- Generators. When the power goes out, barns will stay lit, ventilated and warm more efficiently than any other source of power for a generator. And since propane doesn’t degrade over time like gasoline or diesel, you know your generator will work when you need it.
- Heating for greenhouses. Propane heating systems for greenhouses will keep your plants safe. And the new propane heaters offer more efficiency for lower costs.
- Farmhouses. Propane works for the farmhouse as well as the farm. Propane keeps your home warm, your water hot, and can run propane appliances like ranges, clothes dryers, whole-house backup generators, and space heaters with maximum efficiency
- Flame weeders. Propane also fuels flame weeders for weed control. Reduce your need for herbicide-based weed control. A flame weeder is more effective, doesn’t pollute and, unlike herbicides, you don’t have to wait after treatment to get back to work in the field.
Clean and green—propane can do that
Farmers can protect some of North Carolina’s most precious resources — our air, soil and water. Propane use all around the farm can help you use fuel more efficiently and reduce emissions. And you don’t have to worry about spills.
Unlike gasoline or diesel, propane doesn’t harm the air, water, aquatic life, plant life, or soil in the rare event of a leak. And it produces much fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline or diesel, so both people and animals on your farm can breathe easier!
Your local North Carolina propane provider can tell you more about all the ways propane can make your farm work better.
There are also incentives of up to $5,000 to help North Carolina farmers who want to switch to propane-powered equipment. For 2020, eligible equipment includes irrigation engines, generators, water heating systems, building heating systems, flame weed control systems, and agronomic heat treatment systems.
*Source: North Carolina State University.