With corn and soybean plantings up substantially compared to last year, the Propane Education & Research Council is reminding producers across the Midwest to plan well in advance of harvest season to ensure they have access to enough propane this fall.
According to the USDA Planting Intentions report, corn planted in 2020 is estimated at 97 million acres, up 8% from 2019. Thirty-eight of the 48 states reporting corn as a planted crop are expecting plantings to be at or above 2019 levels.
Soybean plantings are reporting an even larger increase. According to the report, 83.5 million acres of soybeans will be planted in 2020, which is a 10% increase compared to last year. Twenty-two of the 29 states planting soybeans expect levels to be at or above those in 2019.
“More corn and soybeans planted means an increase in demand for propane, whether it’s used to power irrigation equipment or to help dry grain at harvest time,” said Mike Newland, director of agriculture business development for the propane council. “Last year’s energy demand issues that played out at harvest time across the Midwest are still fresh in everyone’s mind, which is why we’re reminding farmers of a few steps they can take now to prevent potential issues later.”
The propane council is encouraging farmers — especially in the Midwest states — to establish a strong line of communication with their propane suppliers now.
“A quick conversation now can go a long way to preventing energy supply headaches later,” Newland said.
As an added layer of preparedness ahead of the harvest season, the propane council recently launched a grain drying calculator tool to help producers determine the number of propane gallons needed each season using just three simple data points. The tool allows users to estimate the amount of propane each operation will require, making it easier to fill tanks early and prepare for supply needs prior to an increase in demand.
Users of the calculator simply input their average expected yield to determine the number of propane gallons needed to dry their crops by a specific moisture percentage. From there, the tool will calculate approximately how many gallons of propane will be needed.
For more information on propane agriculture equipment, resources and news, visit Propane.com.