“Farmers listen to other farmers when making purchasing decisions,” says PERC director of Agriculture Programs Mark Leitman. “A PERC study found more than 50 percent of farmers ask their neighbors or friends for equipment advice. The Propane FEED program is designed to tap into that sentiment by developing success stories that can be promoted to other producers. More importantly, the Propane FEED program will help the local marketer secure a long-term customer and increase gallons sold.”

If widely adopted, the market potential for this equipment is significant.

Irrigation engines use between 4,000 and 8,000 gallons of propane per season;

Poultry house flame sanitizers use about 900 gallons per year per house;

A typical tankless water heater for a dairy operation will use about 400 gallons per year. Most operations would need multiple units;

Commercial propane lawn mowers may use nearly 1,313 gallons per year.

“We want the Propane FEED program to be a joint venture with propane marketers,” added Leitman. “Many propane marketers may already know of a customer who is in the market for one of these pieces of equipment or a real innovator who is willing to try something new. These are the ideal candidates.”

To be eligible for the Propane FEED program, the applicant must be a US farmer or rural businessman and must be in good standing with his or her propane supplier. The equipment must be used on a US farm. An ideal farmer would already use propane, have a well-maintained operation, and be a good spokesman for using propane.

In exchange for the incentive, the farmer must commit to using the equipment for at least one year, provide regular reports on the equipment’s performance, and allow PERC to photograph the equipment on the farm when appropriate.

Any US farmer or rural businessman is eligible for the program, provided the equipment is used in an agricultural setting. An applicant simply determines which piece of equipment he or she interested in buying and fills out the easy two-page application. If selected, the applicant receives the incentive payment directly. During the yearlong demonstration period, PERC and the applicant remain in contact to monitor the performance of the equipment.

Only new equipment is eligible for the financial incentives. Refurbished or modified equipment will not be considered. Producers may get the incentive for more than one piece of equipment, but only one version of the same technology will be eligible for an incentive.