Minnesota Commercial Grain Dryers Lose Propane “Until Further Notice”

Farmers in Minnesota face yet another challenge from the Arctic blast as they try to finish their harvest – the natural gas supply for commercial corn dryers was shut off Monday in an effort to keep enough supply on hand for homes and schools.

Farmers are already weeks behind schedule harvesting their fields in temperatures nearly 20 degrees below normal.

In order for corn to be stored, it has to be dried to a certain moisture level, so not having the commercial dryers available, especially in a wet year like this, could affect delivery. The average home uses about 870 therms of gas a year, while grain dryers could use 20,000 to 500,000 terms in that same amount of time.

Having the gas supply shut off is a rare occurrence, it last happened in 2009. Minnesota Energy Resources reports the gas will remain shut off for commercial grain dryers in the state until further notice.

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