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New clean-air laws impact tractor owners

Monday, January 3, 2011

The new year brought new laws for emissions from tractors as part of an effort to clean the air.
The new year brought new laws for emissions from tractors as part of an effort to clean the air.

When the new year dawned this past Saturday, a fresh set of federal regulations for tractor emissions also kicked in, and tractor companies such as John Deere now are challenged with selling machinery that is about 10 percent more expensive.

The challenge becomes all the more daunting when considering the new models are for sale during financial times that are economically difficult, the Associated Press reports.

The Tier 4 laws, which have been gaining traction since the mid 1990s, also pertain to off-road equipment and machinery used for construction. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identified those devices as hosting engines that endanger the air breathed by operators and bystanders.

Though farmers have had strong returns on crops and harvests thus far this season, some own tractors that might not need to be replaced for more than 20 years, which immediately adds a financial burden they are apprehensive about facing.

Further, rather than retiring the machinery so that it no longer emits toxic fumes, some farmers are trading in or reselling the machinery.

The price range for the newly generated tractors that meet the emission requirements is from $100,000 to $300,000.

Though environmental groups typically are publicly supportive about measures that benefit the environment, their support has not been as clear thus far.

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