From the Farm: Propane Supplies

Agriculture

It was a very different harvest season than 2019. Farmers harvested corn wet last year and spent time and money to dry it off. This year, mother nature did the work and Ag Reporter Stu Ellis reports propane supplies are abundant, compared to last year.

There is plenty of propane, and costs are reasonable as we go into the heating season for rural homes, totally unlike last year when many farmers had to decide whether to fill the propane tank at the house or the bin site—says Mike Newland of the Propane Council. “We were in a good spot going into the drying season, the corn drying season and as everybody knows in your area, 2020 played out much differently than 2019 on corn drying. So, we are coming out of grain drying in a pretty nice spot, as we get into home heating and livestock heating, so we are going into the heating season in a pretty darn good spot on supply.”

After the troubles last year the propane industry created a forecasting model for areas of need. “We developed an internal tool for our propane industry to model corn moisture across the country. I think more than anything what that tool is going to do for us in the years to come is identify the hot spots, where we can look at the issues ahead of the issues surfacing at harvest time,” said Newland. “And it gives us a chance to look at corn moistures down to the USDA crop district level across all the corn states; and really predict and give us time as an industry to react a little bit for logistics reasons and that’s really what we saw in 2019 were logistics constraints. We did not have supply constraints we had logistics constraints. It came about and became a problem because of the huge demand across the wide geography from Indiana all the way back through the Dakotas we were pulling record grain drying demand in a lot of places and it just stressed the logistics system.”

The bottom line is plenty of propane supply at reasonable prices, unlike last year.

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