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Midwest farmers add a propane shortage to the their list of challenges

Iowa (KTIV) – It has been a rough year for farmers in the Midwest, to say the least.

Now add a propane shortage to the list.

“This whole year has been a problem with late planting too much rain and a late harvest and now an early freeze coming this is just. Everything has seemed to go wrong this year.”

With a late harvest and cold, wet weather, farmers are rushing to gather, and dry, their corn and soybeans, which is leading to skyrocketing demand for propane.

Last week, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed an emergency proclamation which led to a regional emergency declaration, including other Midwestern states.

With the shortage, farmers who need propane to dry their corn are at the end of the line.

The first to receive propane will be homes, and livestock facilities as it’s required by law.

That’s leaving many farmers in limbo as they see what their next move will be.

The CEO of the Agribusiness Association of Iowa says it has been an interesting year, from a crop standpoint.

Farmers have had to face several challenges. Now, they are dealing with a shortage of propane.

“For the elevators to take the corn and store it and keep it in good condition or the farmers to keep it in good condition on their farms they’ve got to dry it propane is the primary source to run those dryers,” Joel Brinkmeyer, CEO Agribusiness Association of Iowa.

Brinkmeyer says farmers have had to travel to Conway, Kansas, to replenish. That is a distance of 380 miles from Sioux City one way.

“They have trucks running to Conway Kansas to get propane rather than getting it out of Des Moines which adds a lot of mileage and transportation and he shared that Conway facility the trucks are waiting in line for as much as 10 hours,” said Brinkmeyer.

He says the corn must be down to 15% moisture to keep it in good quality condition.

This year, they have corn that’s at 23-27% moisture.

“And if it goes in a grain bin either at a farmer’s property or at the grain elevator without getting it dried for a long term it will spoil, damage,” said Brinkmeyer.

The corn would then lose quality which means it would have to be sold at a discounted price or not sold at all.

Xava Parra

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