One of the aims of the European Green Deal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the 2050 climate neutrality goal. The agriculture sector can play its part with technological developments and advanced sustainable farming practices. New Holland Agriculture, part of the CNH Industrial group, has pioneered sustainable, innovative solutions through its Clean Energy Leader strategy. One strand of its research activity has focused on using bio-methane generated from agricultural waste to power farming equipment, with the aim of achieving carbon-free agricultural operations.
This led to the development of New Holland’s methane-powered tractor, an all-purpose machine that can be used for a wide range of tasks – field work, jobs around the farm yard and pulling trailers. The tractor, which can run on biogas, has been extensively tested across the world and has now entered full production. The first ones will soon be working in the fields of European countries where bio-methane availability is at an advanced stage. The methane-powered tractor is the cornerstone of New Holland’s Energy Independent Farm concept, where the farm produces bio-methane from its agricultural waste, and uses it to fuel the tractors working the land and to generate energy for its operations. This creates a closed loop between agricultural production and power generation that can make farming carbon neutral.
New Holland is also extending its research to the highly specialised sector of wine growers in a project with Italian Barolo wine producer Fontanafredda. They are exploring the use of bio-methane, testing a new specialty tractor on this sustainable fuel, with the aim of achieving the first carbon-free wine production – an important step towards the decarbonisation of the grape growing chain.
New Holland keeps on showing how technology can be used to address the issue of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in a circular way. At the same time, it creates an additional revenue stream for the farmers who can sell excess bio-methane to the grid providing a further incentive to adopt this sustainable solution.