Fuel costs are rising, but good company and lessons about agriculture remain priceless

·2 min read

Rising fuel costs were brought up during a recent interview with Elgin Federation of Agriculture Vice-President Greg Fentie. It was mentioned that people living in towns and cities could make decisions to save on fuel including what type of car they bought, shopping locally, carpooling, or opting for staycations. Did farmers have any options to save on fuel?

Greg said, “I’d love to have an option. But my combine burns about 2-2.5 gallons of diesel fuel per acre. It does better (on fuel consumption) when the fields are flatter. But you can’t change where that hill is in the field. And it does better when there’s a lower yield, because there’s less going through the combine – but that’s not a great thing.”

He said, “If you have an idea, I am all ears.”

It was decided that carpooling wasn’t an option, but he said, “We do have a buddy seat and that is one of the most underappreciated spots in a tractor. People are more than welcome to come out and go for ride a tractor. It sits empty most of the time. And I listen to Shakira on the radio and even she gets boring after a while.”

As if combine rides alone weren’t enough of a draw, Greg added, “Actually, I provide candy in case there’s children that want to come up because they love going for combine rides – ‘And here’s a gummy bear to go with it.’ It’s a wonderful experience. I love harvest season for that.”

It was jokingly suggested that he could offset fuel coats by charging for rides, but he interjected, “I wouldn’t even charge. I wouldn’t dare do that. I love teaching about agriculture and how do you charge somebody to learn? You know, it benefits everybody for them to learn about agriculture. I would have a hard time charging for that.”

Renée Hueston, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Aylmer Express

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