Running a farm during Winter and the use of LPG
Running any kind of successful farming business requires a significant use of energy.
Tending to livestock and their needs, heating crop stores, machine usage, all – for example –
are extremely energy-intensive processes.
Energy use can be even more critical during the Autumn and Winter months, when harsh
conditions make it more difficult for farmers to harvest, package and distribute produce. Add
this to the challenges that come with heating rural, remote and off-grid agricultural locations
(traditionally served by inefficient fuels like oil), and a farm’s energy supply can become fairly
For farmers looking for a greener, cheaper and more effective off-grid fuel solution that’s
reliable even in colder seasons, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) could be an alternative. LPG
has increasingly become an alternative option for farmers looking to meet ongoing heating or
operational needs without compromising on outputs and the quality of their end product – or
becoming dependent on an expensive alternative fuel.
LPG as an alternative for off-grid farming
Available in gas cylinder and bulk form, LPG provides an alternative to oil and solid fuels for
off-grid agricultural use. It can be used for heating or transport in all types of farming
processes, and delivers a range of operational and environmental benefits. From dairy
processing and poultry rearing right though to maintaining the perfect temperature for crop
drying (or even propane enrichment of biomethane in anaerobic digestion plants), farmers
have turned to LPG for its cleaner, more cost-effective and easily-controllable capabilities.
For farmers looking to understand the benefits of LPG, here is advice on how gas could
become an essential part of efficient farming in the Winter months:
1) Maintaining the health of plants
Maintaining constant temperatures for commercially grown plants and flowers is crucial to
securing profits. When temperatures begin to drop, plants are naturally at greater risk of
being damaged by frost, so it’s important to have the right heating system in place. LPG, as
opposed to other off-grid options like oil, allows plant growers to benefit from a cleaner
burning fuel, ensuring crops remain free from contamination. Depending on the size of the
operation, farmers can also choose between an LPG gas bottle (which can easily be
handled and lifted) and LPG gas tanks (which can be topped up automatically), meaning an
energy system that delivers a constant heat supply for horticulture.
2) Is LPG appropriate for livestock care?
Whether it be barn ventilation, lights, supplying food and water or manure handling, poultry
cultivation requires a huge amount of energy. For birds and livestock, a constant heat supply
is crucial to their survival – especially during colder seasons.
Farmers and animals can potentially benefit from:
– An efficient and cleaner-burning fuel, LPG reduces the risk of contamination within
livestock (through feeds and litter) – ensuring that animals are kept as safe as
– The moisture produced by LPG heating is the perfect level to promote speedy
feathering and weight gain amongst poultry.
– Choosing an LPG supplier with a national supply network means deliveries can be
made quickly and efficiently, keeping birds warm all-year round.
3) Are there environmental benefits?
For farmers looking for greener ways of working, LPG can offer environmental benefits. It’s a
lower-carbon alternative to conventional fossil fuels, cutting carbon emissions by
approximately 15 % compared to heating oil (and 33% compared to coal). It also doesn’t
produce black carbon – which is a major contributor to climate change.
As a transport fuel for tractors or other farming machinery, it’s also estimated that LPG (or
propane) produces up to 24% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline, and 11%
fewer emissions than diesel engines. Not only that, but the risk to the local environment is
also kept to a minimum, as propane is non-toxic – providing a cleaner, greener, and cost-
effective fuel solution for all kinds of farming uses.
4. Drying crops and grains
When it comes to drying crops and grains, an LPG system can be a huge commodity to
farmers looking to dry their produce quickly. As a highly controllable source of fuel, LPG
makes for a more precise drying process, allowing farmers to maintain ideal levels of
moisture without over-drying. The result is quicker drying all round, whilst also enabling
farmers to preserve the quality of their crops, and ensure that the final product meets market
Additionally, with LPG grain drying technology, there’s the potential to recycle heated air,
providing an even more efficient way to dry grain, without increasing fuel consumption.
Gas for Off-grid Britain’ Report, UKLPG, https://www.uklpg.org/resources/gas-for-off-grid-britain