Wednesday, 13 October 2021 10:55

UK diesel supply running dry

Written by  Staff Reporters
In the UK, red diesel is the term used for gas oil that is intended for use by farmers and contractors. In the UK, red diesel is the term used for gas oil that is intended for use by farmers and contractors.

Following on from fuel shortages and panic buying in the UK - said to be inflamed by media hype about a dire shortage of heavy truck drivers - red diesel suppliers are reporting disruption to farm deliveries in some parts of the country that are well into the post-harvest cultivation and planting season.

Some contractors in the east of the country have been advised of a three to four week delay in getting deliveries. One operator with four large tractors reports: "It's a busy time on farms, with lots going on, including spraying, cultivations, drilling and hedge-cutting. We certainly don't have enough fuel to last until the end of the month, given that when cultivating, even medium horsepower tractors are easily using up to 100 litres plus each day."

The National Association of Agricultural Contractors said it is aware of issues with deliveries in some areas and is telling its members to plan well ahead.

Meanwhile, there are reports that some farmers have been using red diesel off-farm out of necessity because of poor rural supplies of "standard" diesel. Government department DEFRA is warning users that there is no amnesty on its use in non-agricultural vehicles, so getting caught could result in a large fine, plus a calculation of the duty being evaded.

The UK's largest rural insurere, NFU Mutual is warning of increasing reports of fuel theft from rural properties, urging farmers to be vigilant and to strengthen security.

It advises fitting a fuel tank alarm such as remote electronic fuel-level gauges that can set off an audible or monitored alarm if the fuel level in the tank suddenly drops or falls below a defined level. It also suggests that tractors and powered machinery should also be locked up and out of sight from public roads and footpaths when not in use, to prevent thieves draining fuel tanks.

Red Oil

In the UK, red diesel is the term used for gas oil that is intended for use by farmers and contractors, alongside other off-road vehicle users.

It is so named because since 1961 it has been a requirement that it must be marked with a red dye as well as chemical markers to make it easily identifiable. 

This helps prevent its misuse in road vehicles as it is a lower cost and is subject to a reduced VAT (tax rate) of only 5%.

More like this

Industry reacts to UK FTA

Primary industries stakeholders  are welcoming the new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United Kingdom announced today.

Time for UK to 'walk the talk'

OPINION: One of life’s commercial shibboleths is that one should be wary of going into business with close friends because emotion is always involved.

COVID-19: Misery on UK farms

Wake up, New Zealand: that’s the message from a New Zealander trying to manage a large dairy farm in the UK amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

National

Feds stalwart to step down

Outspoken Federated Farmers leader Chris Lewis is stepping down from the farmer lobby after 17 years of service.

Machinery & Products

Kicking lameness into touch

Lameness in dairy cows can have a significant effect on a businesses' bottom line, with vets suggesting that each case…

Single row concept delivers results

While Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF) has become increasingly popular over the last decade, German company Amazone is looking to take…

Pigtail welcomes farmer feedback

New Zealand engineering firm Strainrite has been manufacturing its own pigtail standards for many decades, working closely with farmers to…

Drill delivers precision seeding

Available in working widths of 3, 3.5 and 4 metres, Amazone’s new Centaya-C harrow-mounted seed drills are said to allow…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Fake and cheap

OPINION: First they demanded plant-based 'milk', now they want it priced cheaper than real milk.

Cannon fodder?

OPINION: The recent high-profile Mycoplasma bovis announcement from the Government in Hamilton featured Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Agriculture Minister…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter