by Colleen Barry, Ap Business Writer
VENARIA REALE, Italy (AP) — Luca Remmert's dream of running a self-sustainable farm is within sight. He produces energy from corn and grain near the northern Italian city of Turin and hopes in the not too distant future to run all of his eight tractors on methane generated at the farm.
Remmert's 450-hectare (1,100-acre) La Bellotta farm has been testing a second-generation prototype of what will be the first tractor to run on methane, the T6 by New Holland Agriculture.
Methane would be 30 percent cheaper than diesel. And for farms that produce their own bio-methane, the costs of fuel would drop to nothing. Bio-methane is a type of gas that is produced by the processing of organic waste — something farms have a lot of.
The technology will likely be attractive to farmers in many developed economies, particularly those that are turning to the production of biofuel due to a squeeze on profits on food products.
“When the machinery is ready, I will be among the first customers,” Remmert said recently at the farm, where New Holland was showing off the technology, scooping fermented biomass into the plant.
The methane-run T6 would hit production in about five years, according to New Holland, which is a subsidiary of CNH Industrial NV, a company spun off from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.
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