Diesel Fuel and Cold Temperatures
There are some farmers that are finished with harvest and have all their fall tillage done. On the other hand driving out to the farm you still see a lot of corn fields waiting for the combine! Farmers are hoping in the next couple days the snow will blow or melt off of the corn stalks and leaves so harvest can resume. These really cold temperatures will require some extra planning to get all those diesel engines started in the morning.
Diesel engines do have block heaters. When or if you shut down at night equipment will need to be parked where they can be plugged in. However, most of the fuel tanks have number 2 diesel in the tanks. The cloud point for number 2 diesel is about 6 to 8 degrees. That means the number 2 diesel fuel will gel and plug up the fuel filters. In a more normal year we do not see temperatures anywhere near this cold during harvest. This has been anything but a normal year.
Farmers that plan on using diesel engines in the winter blend number 1 diesel fuel that has a cloud point of minus 70 degrees with number 2. Ideally before your fuel filters plug up you would have blended some number 1 with the number 2 in your fuel tanks. That would be difficult with all the equipment farmers use in the fall. Another option would be to put anti-gel additives into the tanks.
Before you stop at the farm store and purchase additives to put in your fuel tanks talk with your fuel supplier. Some farm delivered diesel fuel already has additives in it tp lower the cloud point and prevent plugging fuel filters. Putting in many different additives that are not needed may actually cause your fuel to gel and plug the filters.