Late Harvest Leads To Propane Shortages Across The Midwest
SIOUX FALLS, S.D – It’s no secret that the Midwest has struggled this harvest season, but the delayed pulling of crops seems to be affecting more than just yields. It’s contributing to a propane shortage across the Midwest.
“There is a lot of supply out there it’s just not in the right spots right now,” says CTO of A-OX Welding Supply Trenton Elliott.
There is plenty of propane in the US right now.
“All of those pipelines that they’ve made and done are taking all the product away from the Midwest,” says Elliott.
United States propane supplies are near a 5-year high, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
Yet last week governors in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin issued an emergency declaration to get rid of restrictions on the transportation of fuel. Governor Kristi Noem also signed an executive order November 1st to address the propane shortage.
The difficult harvest season’s playing a part.
“People are pulling crops later than normal and they are wetter then they normally world be,” says Elliott.
Propane is needed to dry out the crops and this means there’s less propane to heat homes during the cold spurt.
“The Governor did what she did because they feel like people potentially freezing to death is more important than making sure that somebody whose driving meets that standard. All that extra supply that we should have should be going towards houses, but instead need to be used to dry corn,” says Elliott.
With the long winter ahead, the problem is all the more frightening.
The prices of propane are decreasing nationally. In the Midwest last year, propane was 83 cents per gallon. This year it is 67 cents per gallon.
Noem’s executive order lifting the restrictions of transporting fuel will continue until the end of the emergency.