In a bid to save money on buying winter fuel at summer prices, farmers must be aware of potential problems that could spoil their frugality. Farm fuel storage over winter for agricultural businesses can be fraught with problems, not only are fuel tanks susceptible to thieves and damage but a more consistent problem lurks within. A little knowledge of a few basic precautionary measures, will protect farmer’s fuel investments. Just like the vehicles that use diesel, the fuel itself needs maintenance. Vehicles using SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) emission technology require AdBlue (reduces emissions of oxides of nitrogen from the exhaust of UK diesel vehicles) which also needs to be stored. One of the main problems with storing farm fuels such as the modern ultra-low sulphur diesel relates to the replacement of sulphur for lubrication and the addition of biodiesel (vegetable or animal based diesel fuel). Biodiesel absorbs considerably more water than regular diesel which encourages the growth of diesel-bug micro-organisms, which will feed on hydrocarbons in the fuel converting it into harmful biomass acids in their excretion process. Modern farm fuel stores may have fuel filtering systems attached to the nozzle, filtering the fuel before it is used on any machinery. This process is highly recommended as it could save you thousands later on down the line with machinery maintenance. Keeping water away from diesel is essential, with condensation being the easiest way for water to enter the tank via the breather vent (steal tanks are more vulnerable than plastic). Consideration to keeping the tank away from weather temperature fluctuations will keep condensation to a minimum. Many modern tanks use a bunding system to curb this problem. Also consider whether your tank is exposed to rainfall. Diesel should be regularly checked for water and microbe contaminants. A simple test kit will cost approximately £20. If you plan to store your fuel over the winter, an antioxidant or fuel biocide mix may be advisable to preserve quality. Northern Energy offers a range of helpful additives.