Where the rubber meets the soil: How tire choice impacts production and sustainability

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Reducing compaction and fuel consumption both play a role in keeping more money in a producer’s bank account, and both are what the folks at Firestone Ag says is important about choosing the right tires for machinery.

Tony Orlando and Matt Frank, president and product manager with Firestone Ag, were at the Farm Progress Show at Boone, Iowa, and say tire selection isn’t something that producers should overlook when trying to maximize the bottom line.

A simple upgrade to better tires can reduce soil compaction, and there are more options and technology to further reduce compaction. Additionally, the proper tire provides an opportunity to reduce fuel consumption, which lately is an expense that has seen a large increase.

In order to bolster the sustainability side of the operation, Firestone Ag is also making an investment into the U.S.’s first natural rubber plant. With approximately $140 million already invested, the duo says the plant, based in Arizona, will “reduce the need for carbon and for fossil fuel, by having our own homegrown, natural source of rubber.”

Currently, Firestone Ag has a manufacturing plant in Des Moines, Iowa, and services customers across the globe including North America, Europe, Asia and Japan.

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