The 2007 Census of Agriculture showed the cost to fuel farm operations skyrocketed 93 percent since 2002. Propane is one of the cheapest fuel sources for many farmers and rural Americans.

The new propane-fueled Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks developed by Roush Performance with funding from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) help farmers and ranchers reduce fuel and maintenance costs without sacrificing the power and towing capacity their jobs demand.

The truck

The Roush propane-fueled Ford F-250 pickup's 5.4-liter engine produces the same horsepower, torque, and towing capacity as the comparable 5.4-liter gasoline version. Both the pickup and the conversion kit have true OEM-quality engineering and materials. Among the components changed by Roush are the fuel tank with integrated fuel pump, wiring, and valving; stainless steel fuel lines; billet aluminum fuel rails; an upgraded custom Roush PCM calibration; and all the necessary wiring, hardware, and instructions.

“We never stop thinking about the future at Roush. With our corporate resources we have the capability to create new products that should help stimulate the American economy as well as reduce our need for foreign oil,” said Jack Roush, founder and chairman of the board of directors of Roush Enterprises.

“With so many farmers already using propane throughout their daily routine, it only makes sense that they also run their work truck on the same fuel. With no loss of functionality or comfort, propane is an American fuel for the American farming community.”

Federal tax credits

Farmers may receive federal tax credits for the purchase of Roush propane-fueled Ford F-250 and F-350 trucks. The Alternative Fuel Motor Vehicle Credit covers up to 50 percent of the incremental price above the standard gasoline- or diesel-fueled trucks for any motor vehicle that operates only on an alternative fuel source like propane. A PERC program, the Propane FEED (Farm Equipment Efficiency Demonstration) program, helps farmers and ranchers cover the other 50 percent of the incremental cost by offering $5,000 for qualified applications. Visit www.agpropane.com/demontration for more information.

Farmers may purchase the propane-fueled F-250 and F-350 trucks directly from Roush-authorized Ford dealers or as a conversion kit that works on 2009-2010 models equipped with the 5.4-liter V8 engine. The base liquid propane injection system costs $9,995 and includes the in-bed fuel tank that holds 53 usable gallons and has a range of 450 miles. The trucks can be serviced through a nationwide network of Ford dealers.

“Farmers have extremely tough jobs, and they depend on their trucks to pull them through the day,” said Mark Leitman, director of agriculture programs for PERC. “We want to show farmers first-hand that propane-fueled trucks not only reduce maintenance needs and save on fuel costs but also deliver the power needed to get through those daily farm chores. To do this, we're launching a two-week driving tour to showcase the truck and its performance.”

Why propane?

Propane and propane-fueled trucks provide farmers with economical alternatives to traditional fuels and vehicles. Clean-burning propane leaves no lead, varnish, or carbon deposits that can cause the premature wear of pistons, rings, valves, and spark plugs. With less maintenance and lower fuel costs than gasoline vehicles, propane-fueled trucks help farmers decrease operating costs by around 38 percent.

Propane also produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline — up to 18 percent — making it an environmentally friendly alternative.

PERC's vision is that by 2010 the agricultural industry will embrace propane as a preferred energy source that offers cost-effectiveness, efficiency and productivity, reliability, portability, and environmental friendliness.

For more information on PERC and its programs to promote the safe and efficient use of propane in agriculture, call 202-452-8975 or visit www.agpropane.com.