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Farmers concerned at implications of faulty diesel

29 May 2001 PR 67/2001

Farmers concerned at implications of faulty diesel fuel

Federated Farmers is concerned about the problems that faulty diesel fuel is causing. Already some farmers have experienced difficulties in feeding stock as a result of the faulty diesel. Arable farmers trying to plant out autumn crops have also had problems resulting in expensive damage to sophisticated farm machinery.

National Board member, Mr John Aspinall, said that "farmers rely almost totally on diesel powered machinery to feed stock and provide access during severe winter weather conditions such as heavy snowfalls. During such adverse events it is important to be able to attend and feed stock promptly."

Mr Aspinall added that "while we are not aware of widespread problems at present, we understand that some farmers in the Fairlie area had difficulty trying to get silage to stock over the weekend. We expect the fuel companies to closely monitor the situation, and if problems occur, especially during periods of heavy snow, we expect them to promptly deliver quality fuel and ensure that an adequate supply of new fuel filters is available."

Grains Council Chairman, Neil Barton, has fielded a number of calls from farmers who have had difficulty. "Arable farmers use sophisticated farm machinery which need several filters. Already one farmer has experienced difficulty and is facing a possible bill of $1500 for damage caused by faulty diesel."

"For fuel companies to advise those with land based machinery to keep using the fuel is not good enough" said Mr Barton. "Farmers are looking to see their fuel replaced with quality product as soon as possible. Most farmers have stocked up for the winter and are now concerned that their storage tanks have been contaminated. The problems could continue for the rest of the winter if the fuel isn't replaced"

"While most farmers have the skill to change filters and bleed fuel lines of ordinary farm vehicles, sophisticated farm machinery is another matter. Farmers are not willing to live with the risk of machinery failure in the middle of a snowstorm or planting and will be looking to fuel suppliers to replace the faulty diesel.

Federated Farmers advises any farmers who have problems with designated winter grade diesel, to contact their fuel supplier immediately.

ENDS:

For further information: John Aspinall 03 443 7155 Neil Barton 021 441 125

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