How to make the
most of your farm’s
As the busiest time of the farming year approaches, we’re here to help British farmers make the most of the season. We know fuel represents a large part of a farm’s costs. By following these tips, you can streamline your spending, reduce fuel consumption and boost your farm's profitability.
Keep reading for our top recommendations on buying, storing, and using fuel throughout harvest 2023 and beyond.
How to Make the
Most of Your Farm’s
Fuelling your farm effectively
The first step in streamlining your fuel spend is to ensure you’re purchasing all your requirements in the most cost-effective way possible.
Manage the unpredictable
One of the major factors threatening the growth and success of any business is the uncertain, often volatile, cost of fuel. The fluctuating cost of fuel puts pressure on margins, makes budgeting harder and can significantly hamper the realisation of your business plans. That’s why we developed our range of unrivalled Price Risk Managed products.
Compliant for BS2869:2017 Class D heating applications
At Watson Fuels, we enable customers to forward buy for up to a year in advance, you’ll know what you’re paying throughout the season. This helps you to plan cash flow better, plan your purchasing, and protects you against fuel price hikes.
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Furnaceflame™, is a cost-effective alternative to gas oil for commercial heating applications such as grain dryers, commercial heaters and boilers. Blended in the UK, Furnaceflame™ has been developed for use as a direct replacement wherever regular gas oil is being used for heating purposes.
As a drop in replacement, Furnaceflame gives you the same great performance as regular gas oil. It’s made from virgin components, that means there’s no added FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester). Further, gas oil is subject to additional government levies for road fuel which do not apply to Furnaceflame. And it costs less to produce, as Furnaceflame doesn’t have to meet the exacting standards of fuel for off-road mobile plant use. So, you can get excellent performance year round, for less.
Fuel for grain dryers and commercial heating
Furnaceflame™ key benefits
FAME-free and virgin heating
oil for businesses
Saves your business compared to using gas oil for heating, burning or drying
Winter-grade all year round with zero risk of waxing
Watson Fuels manages the price risk on millions of litres of fuel per day, on behalf of customers spanning the full breadth of commercial and industrial sectors, including manufacturing, construction, transportation and agriculture.
Our Price Risk Management experts guide customers on a carefully considered and well-practised journey of risk identification, mitigation and ongoing servicing of changing requirements to compliment a changing market place. With our simple, effective solutions, we can help place your business on a fuel agreement that matches your ongoing needs – securing your fuel cost against fluctuating market trends and giving you greater certainty over your fuel spend.
The price difference with Furnaceflame could see a return on your investment sooner than you think. Contact our team who can help calculate today.
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Use a fuel card
Get clear energy advice
Although more associated with businesses running fleets on the motorway, fuel cards bring efficiencies to any business where fuel is significant cost. Using fuel cards can be a cost saving solution to fuel your on-road vehicles and help to bring transparency to your fuel spend. With flexible invoicing solutions too, fuel cards can help businesses plan their fuel spend more effectively.
Beyond your liquid fuel purchases, a persistent challenge facing all farms today is managing the costs of energy. Finding the best rates amid a sea of different providers can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack – time consuming, stressful, costly and taking your focus away from your farm.
As part of World Kinect Energy Services, we can help your agricultural business manage its energy costs effectively. Our local energy specialists can manage the process of streamlining your energy costs from start to finish. We will find you the most competitive rates and apply for any utility refunds you may be owed from previous years.
Get clear energy advice today and reduce your energy bills. Get in touch on 0844 581 0844 or
We hope some of these tips have been helpful when it comes to planning your fuel and energy spend, using it efficiently and protecting it securely. If you need any further information, or you want to order fuel, lubricants, or any other products from us, you can find your local Watson Fuels depot here.
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Using your fuel
Effective fuel buying strategies are the first piece of the puzzle. But next comes efficient fuel use. There are some obvious things you can do to reduce your fuel use, such as ensuring engines are turned off when not in use rather than being left to labour, and not driving at excessive speeds on the road, but there are other ways to increase efficiency too. Our top tips include:
You’ve invested a lot into your machinery and vehicles, so you want to take good care of them and keep them running for as long as possible. Of course, lubricants are vital for keeping your farm machinery moving and completing the jobs they’re meant to do. But this isn’t all they do.
Lubricants are key—they reduce friction, protect against wear and tear and help machines run smoothly. But not all lubricants are the same. Watson Lubricants experts can help you find the right product for protecting your machinery.
Adjust your tyre pressure to the terrain
Consider min or no till systems
Selecting the correct tyre pressure for the driving surface can significantly increase fuel economy. If you are using a tractor on a field and the tyres are over inflated, the wheels are likely to spin, meaning the engine needs to work harder to find the required grip, increasing fuel use. Conversely, driving with under inflated tyres on the road increases surface area contact, driving down fuel economy. So, always be sure to select the correct tyre pressure for the circumstance.
Okay, so this might mean a change of approach on your farm, but min and no till systems require significantly less tractor use than traditional plough-based systems. This means less fuel use, less service and maintenance costs, less work, and potentially increased soil health, so could be well worth considering.
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Key lubrication benefits
Protect against wear and tear
Help machines run smoothly
Consider the full picture when deciding which lubricant is right for your farm machinery using these three questions:
Selecting high-quality lubricants in line with manufacturer’s recommendations can increase fuel efficiency by as much as 3% and when you consider how much fuel just a single tractor uses across a year, that adds up to a significant saving.
What is the best lubricant for my machinery?
What is the best lubricant for my budget?
What is the best lubricant for my business?
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Our experts can help, call them on
0845 601 1253 or send us an enquiry and one of our experts will come back to you.
Protecting your fuel
Our final tips regard keeping your fuel safe, both from potential thieves, and from leakages. Either one of these scenarios could lead to a sudden and unexpected loss of a large volume of fuel, which increases costs, and could mean you have to stop farming operations at your busiest time cutting your farm profitability. There are ways you can protect your farm:
Effective tank monitoring
Many farms still store fuel in an old steel tank. And these tanks are prone to leaks. Even small leaks from perished seals, corroded wields, or rusting corners can add up to significant losses over time.
Fuel tank monitoring will give you a clear picture of your fuel use and help you identify if you’re losing fuel through leaks. Of course, there are other benefits too.
Check your tank
Related to the previous point, if your tank is old then having it inspected by a professional and serviced or repaired if any wear, tear, or damage is found, will help to ensure no fuel is lost to leaks. If your tank is on its last legs, then replace it. Not doing so is false economy.
Old tanks tend to be insecure and can fail at any moment, meaning a large amount of fuel is lost and potentially a lot of damage to the local environment.
Summer heatwaves and winter storms can cause all sorts of trouble for your fuel supply—for example, wind and cold can make your fuel form crystals that can clog up engines.
Fuel theft is an increasing threat that hits your bottom line. When fuel is missing, you could end up losing hours or even days of work. And as prices rise, this problem will grow. A tank monitoring system gives you a full picture of your fuel use and alerts you when levels are depleted. For higher risk sites, tank alarms and supply fuel markers let you control who can access fuel. You also get a detailed record of how much is being used.
Shelter from weather
Provider shelter and/or protection for tanks, pipes, pumps and vehicles to protect and the fuel from weather extremes
Remove any water in the fuel to prevent it from freezing and clogging pipes and filters (the water comes from condensation in the fuel tank)
Regularly circulate the fuel, particularly during warm periods, to keep any waxes in solution form and prevent crystals forming
Use additives that protect your fuel quality year-round
There are different considerations based on the weather, but for a start, you should consider the following:
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