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The Associated Press January 3, 2011, 3:05AM ET

Cleaner tractors get cool reception from farmers

Farm equipment makers are hoping a new generation of cleaner tractors will find a market with new clean air regulations that went into effect Saturday.

The new federal rules apply to tractors, construction vehicles and other so-called nonroad equipment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the vehicles are major sources of particulate-matter emissions -- the stuff that makes smoke black and air difficult to breathe.

So far, most farmers are giving a cool reception to the new tractors, which can cost between $100,000 and $300,000.

The greener technology used in them has also boosted the price about 10 percent.

Dairy farmer Phillip Batho of Plum City, Wis., says that's part of why he bought an older, used tractor last month. He paid about $60,000.

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