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PERC urges ag producers to plan ahead for harvest

July 7, 2020 By    
Photo: Dmytro Diedov/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Users of PERC’s grain drying calculator enter their average expected yield, and the tool will then calculate about how many gallons of propane they will need. Photo: Dmytro Diedov/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) advises Midwest agricultural producers to plan well in advance of harvest season to ensure access to enough propane this fall, due to corn and soybean plantings up substantially compared to last year.

According to the USDA Prospective Plantings report, corn planted in 2020 is estimated at 97 million acres, up 8 percent from 2019. Thirty-eight of the 48 states reporting corn as a planted crop are expecting plantings to be at or above 2019 levels, according to PERC.

Soybean plantings are reporting a 10 percent increase, with a projected 83.5 million acres of soybeans planted in 2020, the report says. Of the 29 states planting soybeans, 22 states 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,” says Mike Newland, director of agriculture business development for PERC. “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.”

PERC is encouraging farmers, especially in the Midwest, 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 says.

PERC launched a grain drying calculator to help producers determine the number of propane gallons needed each season using three data points. PERC says 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 input their average expected yield to determine the number of propane gallons needed to dry their crops by a specific moisture percentage. The tool will then calculate about how many gallons of propane will be needed.

About the Author:

Carly Bemer (McFadden) is the associate editor at LP Gas magazine. She can be reached at 216-363-3930 or cbemer@northcoastmedia.net.

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