Poor field conditions and wet harvested grain stresses the propane industry’s fuel supply
By Kate Ayers
The propane industry is struggling to keep up with the demand from more farmers drying their wet grain.
This harvest season is “a lot cooler, wetter and (these conditions are) more widespread than normal,” Keith Morin, director for Federated Co-operatives Ltd., said to Farms.com today.
“There are some pockets that have more moisture … than average throughout the Prairies, especially in Saskatchewan.”
And these conditions are forcing farmers to dry most of the crops they harvest, as the grain is coming off at a much higher moisture content than usual.
Last month in the Melfort, Sask. area, for example, the Co-op sold two-and-a-half times more propane than the 10-year average, Morin said in a CBC article yesterday.
“The propane industry is having difficulty trying to keep up with the spike in demand,” he said.
Although Melfort has been the busiest area this season, branches in Saskatoon, Yorkton and Meadow Lake have also experienced an up-tick in fuel demand.
Co-op branches in Edmonton and Grassland, Alta. have been busier than normal with grain drying as well.
In Manitoba, the company has been busy with farmers drying corn in the Brandon, Winnipeg and Carmen areas.
“For most of the locations we service for producers drying grain, it’s business as usual (with deliveries) within 48 hours,” Morin said to Farms.com.
However, “we do have some situations that are little bit more backed up based on the peak demand. The Melfort area in Northeastern Saskatchewan is our hardest hit area and the wait time for those customers right now is seven to 10 days.”
Farmers can order propane volumes based on the amount they can store on their farms.