Propane Industry Gears Up for Corn Harvest: What Farmers Should Know

Farmers are gearing up to ensure their grain is adequately dried before storage as the corn crop approaches harvest season. This critical step in the process requires a reliable propane supply, and experts in the industry are offering valuable insights to help farmers prepare.

Mike Newland, Director of Agriculture Business Development with the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), highlights the importance of tracking yield projections and the expected moisture levels of the upcoming corn crop. He notes, “We’ve got a 23-year dataset, and we’re looking at moisture as it compares to the previous year, the five-year average, and that 23-year history.”

Newland’s assessment indicates an expectation of a relatively typical drying season across the Midwest. He anticipates normal propane usage, with a potential increase compared to last year’s lighter use per bushel of corn.

Crucially, Newland expresses confidence in the ample propane supplies available this fall. Approximately 40% of propane supply is utilized in the United States, leaving a substantial portion open for the export market.

Despite this confidence in supply, Newland advises farmers to proactively converse with their propane suppliers before the fall season. He emphasizes the importance of these discussions without the pressure of deadlines, stating, “We want people to have that conversation when there’s no stress, no time constraints.”

Farmers are encouraged to communicate their estimated propane needs to their local propane supplier, including approximate gallon requirements and their intended start date for grain drying. Newland also suggests that farmers prioritize obtaining their first propane fill for the grain dryer to ease the initial demand on the system.

To assist farmers in estimating their propane requirements for the fall, PERC offers a helpful tool called the Grain Dryer Propane Use Calculator. This online resource allows producers to input data such as acreage, average yield, and desired moisture levels for the crop. It then estimates the total gallons of propane needed for the upcoming season.

Farmers are advised to engage with their propane suppliers as the corn harvest approaches to ensure a smooth and efficient drying process. They can look forward to a successful and productive harvest season with reliable propane supplies and careful planning.

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