Diesel changes cause chaos for busy farmers
Constituent changes in agricultural diesel are being blamed for creating chaos for farmers and agricultural contractors as hundreds of tractors have come shuddering to a halt in the fields at the peak of one of the busiest periods of the year on farms.
The fuel lines and filters in the tractors are becoming blocked with a gunge-like substance starving the engines of fuel.
The problem has been blamed on a 99pc reduction in the sulphur content of green diesel.
Tom Murphy, CEO of Professional Agricultural Contractors (PAC), said that he has been "inundated with complaints from members" about the problems they are experiencing.
"This is a very serious situation for contractors, which is going to have to be addressed. It is costing my members a lot of money and loss of time to get the tractors going again. A solution is going to have to be found," he said.
"The contractors are also finding that it is taking a lot more fuel to do the same work, since the sulphur was removed. We were told that there would be a slight increase, but the difference is very significant."
Mark Woods of Maxol Oil confirmed that the change in the specification of green diesel (also known as gas oil) occurred in April as a result of new legislation which gave effect to the Fuels Quality Directive 2009/30/EC.