This is the time of year that we see the peak demand for propane. All those corn dryers at elevators and on farms are all burning propane. Well, almost all are using propane. Some elevators and a few farms are on a natural gas pipeline. The cold temperatures are adding even more demand for propane and I am hearing supplies are getting tight.

We knew propane supplies would get tight unless nice warm dry weather allowed the corn to dry down in the field. We did not get a lot of warm dry weather this fall but the corn is not unusually wet either. I am hearing much of the corn is in the 17 to 20 percent moisture range. Drying it down to 14.5 to 15 percent moisture does not take a lot of propane but there are a lot of dryers running!

Propane suppliers encouraged all their farmers and rural home owners to get their propane tanks filled this summer. The suppliers also had their storage tanks full. Because of the intense demand many of the suppliers storage tanks are now running low. That means trucks must go to the terminals and wait in line for a load.

This does take more time and adds to the cost of propane delivered to farms. Hopefully there will not be dryers and combines shut down because propane tanks are empty but it is possible. While we complain about the wet dreary weather having combines shut down occasionally does slow down harvest. This does provide an opportunity for suppliers to catch up a bit.