New Holland informed the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) May 17 it fully approves use of up to B20 blends (20% biodiesel/80% petroleum-based diesel) on all equipment currently produced with New Holland engines.

“We are proud to once again take a leading role in giving support to the biodiesel industry as it rapidly moves toward fulfilling its fundamental role in the future of energy use,” says Dennis D. Recker, Vice President of New Holland Agricultural Business in North America. “In this era of uncertainty on issues relating to energy, we feel it is essential that New Holland reaffirm its already established support for the biodiesel industry.”

The announcement by New Holland was greeted with strong acclaim by industry observers. “This is what we have been working toward for years: a major equipment manufacturer announcing full support for use of high quality B20 in all of their equipment that has New Holland engines,” says NBB Chief Executive Officer Joe Jobe. “Although other OEMs have taken positive steps toward B20, New Holland is the first to specifically say that they approve the use of B20 in their New Holland engines. This powerful stand for renewable energy is helping lead us toward a safer, less dependent nation.”

“This move by New Holland represents a strong show of support for the soybean farmers who stepped up to the plate years ago to begin the biodiesel program,” adds Darryl Brinkmann, an Illinois soybean farmer who serves as the NBB Chairman.

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel produced from oilseed crops, primarily soybeans in the U.S. and canola in Canada, and animal fats. It can be blended with conventional diesel. The biodiesel must meet the specified industry standard for fuel quality of ASTM D6751 to ensure optimum performance and durability of the engine.

“New Holland strongly recommends the use of approved fuels and compliance with strict handling, storage and maintenance requirements to maintain the integrity of the fuel," says Recker.

The necessary technical advice and specific maintenance programs are available through New Holland’s expert dealer network to ensure the biodiesel is handled properly and critical areas such as fuel hoses and injectors receive further inspection so customers can confidently work with high-quality B20 biodiesel blends without compromising the machine's performance or durability. The biodiesel industry has also instituted a voluntary fuel quality program called BQ-9000 for biodiesel producers and marketers.

In the U.S., the NBB credits the 2005 federal biodiesel tax incentive and scores of state pro-biodiesel legislation for the dramatic growth in the biodiesel industry. The federal incentive is an excise tax credit that lowers the cost of biodiesel to consumers and is expected to continue to significantly increase biodiesel demand. The NBB estimates biodiesel consumption will increase to at least 150 million gallons in 2006, but depending on a number of other factors including crude oil prices, the industry projects that demand could be much higher during the next decade.

"Biodiesel is the future," says Recker. "As the availability of fossil fuels becomes a greater problem, we need to look at alternatives. But they must also be cleaner, environmentally friendly alternatives. New Holland is renowned for its innovation and forward-thinking approach, and we are committed to bringing our customers the latest technology and the benefits it brings."