This tractor runs on BS — but it’s the real, eco-friendly deal


Disclosure: Lori Rotenberk was a guest of New Holland along with nine other American journalists who visited the T6, the tractor featured in this story. New Holland paid for her flight and lodging.

Little do college students know, but their late-night scientific observation of a burstof methane flatulence kissed by the flame of a match may be the innovation that saves us all from climate change catastrophe. That conversion of food to gas could truly curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Around the world, farmers are installing anaerobic digesters. These digesters ferment manure and plants into biomethane. Many farmers use the fuel for heating homes and buildings, selling their excess to local grids. Soon, however, many European farmers hope to fuel their machinery via anaerobic digestion, making themselves greener and fuel-independent.

A short distance outside of Turin, Italy, in the small town of Venaria Reale, rolls a beauty of a tractor fueled from a hefty mix of chicken shit, bovine slurry from local farmers, and corn and triticale silage from the 1,100-acre farm known as La Bellotta. Luca Remmert, who owns the farm, keeps 9,000 hens for organic eggs and grows corn, wheat, and cereal grains. In an effort to save his farm, which was not making income enough from crops, he installed a digester, selling excess methane to the local grid. He also uses the liquid byproduct in his fields, saving more than $300,000 per year on fertilizer.

Read more here.