It may seem like we still have plenty of time until the fall harvest. However, we could be in the fields in only about two months. Last year, we saw logistical problems in moving the supply of propane farmers needed to dry their crops. There were some hard lessons learned. These lessons can help guide us as we prepare for the 2020 harvest.
Mike Newland is the Agriculture Business Development Director for the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). He says 2019 was a year to remember for all the wrong reasons. The wet conditions which plagued the corn belt throughout the year caused delays in getting propane to where it needed to be. It was this situation that led the propane industry to develop some tools to help producers. One of these tools is the grain drying calculator.
Having the tools and the data is one thing, but none of it helps if you do not follow up with the right conversations.
PERC also has developed an internal program available to propane marketers and state propane gas associations that shows USDA data on current crop moisture levels, and then compare this data to the past twenty years. This way they can make better predictive decisions.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen changes to what we always perceived as normal. Newland says that there may be changes to how propane is supplied, but that supplies are strong for 2020. He says that if producers have a conversation about their needs sooner, it will be easier to guarantee the supply when they need it.
To learn more about propane or to use the new calculator tool, log on to their website.