Field professional Leo Rösel has a few tips on how a farmer can save diesel with little tricks. He has his own opinion on the subject of forward contracts.
Hello dear court heroes,
I’m sure you’ve felt like me the last few weeks. In disbelief you see the price board at the gas station , the price only knows one direction, steeply upwards. Anyone who thought two euros would be the end of it was quickly taught otherwise. But how should you deal with the situation? After all, not much can be done in agriculture without diesel. In the following blog I have put together a few experiences of how I have tried to save expensive fuel in the past, tips from practitioners, so to speak.
Many small adjustment screws help to save diesel
Where can I save diesel on the machines ? When I think about it, the first thing that comes to mind is driving behavior, you learned that in driving school. But there is also a lot that can be optimized when it comes to maintenance.
This is how much diesel you can save with maintenance:
- Clean radiator and air filter: up to 5%
- Engine adjustment and maintenance (e.g. low-viscosity oil): up to 5%
- Tires: selection, condition and above all adjusted air pressure: up to 10%
Maybe you just check the condition of the machines more often in these times.
Save fuel on the field
When working in the fields, a few things come to mind that have a positive effect on the diesel tank. When tilling the soil, do not work deeper than absolutely necessary, every centimeter costs more power! Clean connection driving and avoid unnecessary crossings, combine work steps and pay attention to the adjusted air pressure! This is not only good for the soil.
But this is where we have our biggest problem. Due to the switch to organic farming, we have to do more tillage, and mechanical care with weeders and hoes will also lead to more diesel consumption per hectare. Even if the energy balance will be better due to the lack of mineral fertilizers.
Good organization is everything
Even if there is still a long way to go before the harvest, time and diesel can be saved through organization. A briefing before the harvest day can avoid one or the other empty trip. We have been making a field map with fixed routes for years. So everyone knows their way around, no field is forgotten and you avoid stress with oncoming traffic and residents etc. For us, this has brought about a 10% faster harvest when chopping grass. And everyone can calculate for themselves how much diesel a harvest chain needs per hour.
With rental machines, we try to avoid unnecessary trips to pick up or drop off by agreeing on who will get the machine next or where you can get it.
The thing with the preliminary contract
“If only we had secured a subset of diesel in December.” How often I’ve heard this sentence. But who can see into the future? So far, we have never had a bad time with the daily prices for agricultural diesel over the course of the year and do not make any contracts here. As elsewhere, our diesel supplier has not had any delivery bottlenecks and continues to serve us as regular customers reliably, which was also the case with the Ad Blue bottleneck in autumn.
In the future, however, I would like to do more market observation here and secure a subset, then you may not have the cheapest price, but you have a calculable number on your desk.
What happens now?
Of course, my measures are all just a drop in the bucket. But I hope that they will have a positive effect on the volume of diesel, because we don’t have the price in our hands. I don’t know whether there will be any price reductions in the future, but such special rules usually only lead to resentment and extra work without any real effect.
Every bad thing has a good side: I hope that the diesel price discussion will also promote the development of alternative drives and that we may soon need less diesel or no diesel at all. But I also think that the price spiral will continue and we will have to live with these costs. Let’s hope that our revenue side will follow this path. But it’s probably like the diesel contract, you’re always smarter afterwards. So you see, the horse no longer has to plow with us, only the diesel horse 😉
It remains exciting! See you soon!