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At the heart of any construction alternative power discussion is … diesel.

Diesel is the go-to power on jobsites – according to the Diesel Technology Forum, 98% of construction’s energy use in the U.S. comes from diesel.

But with intense global initiatives to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, the press is on for construction industry manufacturers to find ways to lessen diesel’s carbon impact. A range of solutions is being considered: replacing the diesel engine altogether, reconfiguring the engine to run on lower-carbon fuels and making the diesel engine as efficient as possible.

All will be needed.

The challenges are many. Unlike some sectors, construction doesn’t rely on a core piece of equipment, but rather on a vast fleet that ranges from mini excavators to massive off-highway trucks. And a jobsite can be anywhere from midtown Manhattan to rural Wyoming. Which is why so many diesel alternatives are being offered, including electric, hydrogen, biodiesel and other biofuels. And, over the next decade or so, one (or more) of these alternatives will establish themselves as having the greatest long-term potential. 

“What’s coming? The answer is probably all of them,” said Jeremy Harsin, construction market director at Cummins. “The combination of duty cycle and available infrastructure is going to decide what wins out, but they’re probably all going to have their place in the world.”

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Creating the Potential for Higher Yields - Phil Needham

Video: Creating the Potential for Higher Yields - Phil Needham

Phil Needham grew up on a family farm on the east coast of England, where 140-160 bu/ac wheat yields were common with around  20-22” of annual rainfall. After college and university Phil moved to the USA in 1989 to join Opti-Crop, a consulting company based in Kentucky. Opti-Crop had contributed to more than a doubling of the Kentucky state wheat yield when they were asked by growers to expand their services to surrounding states and west to Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. In 2000 they expanded their wheat consulting to South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota to manage spring wheat in those areas, and in 2002 they moved further north to help spring wheat producers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Phil will discuss some of the weak links he has seen within the management systems of spring cereal producers across AB, SK and MB. He will then provide options to minimize or eliminate these weak links, to push yields, protein and profits higher, especially in years with above average rainfall. Phil will also discuss ways to minimize expenses and risk, in the years with below average rainfall.