Early last week there reports that propane was in short supply in Iowa. It was not surprising that later last week many propane suppliers were on allocation in Minnesota too. When there is a huge demand for propane and supplies are tight priority is given to rural homes and livestock buildings. This means some farmers at times do not have the propane they need to dry corn.
It appeared a "perfect storm" that would result in a propane shortage was coming. The corn crop in the Midwest was planted much later than normal. Mother nature did not give us a lot of warm sunny days this fall to mature and dry the corn naturally. In addition the long range forecast of much below normal temperatures turned out to be accurate. Late last week at sunrise the temperature at the Faribault airport dropped to 2 degrees below zero.
The propane industry tried to prepare for the anticipated demand this fall. In the last couple years many suppliers added additional storage tanks. They all have summer fill programs so propane tanks for homes, livestock buildings and grain driers were full gong into the fall. Local suppliers had semi-transports lined up to haul propane from a huge underground storage facility in Kansas.
It is going to be really cold for a couple days and then warm up to almost normal later this week. Plus, I have seen a couple long range forecast calling for temperatures above normal later in November. Lets hope the forecast holds!