Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig encouraged ag businesses, farmers, rural residents and other Iowans that use propane to consider taking steps to ensure adequate propane supplies this fall and winter.
“It is important for users to be prepared. By working with your supplier to fill tanks now and book future fills, users can help avoid any unforeseen price spikes later this year,” Naig said.
As of Sept. 7, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports propane stocks in the Midwest “PADD 2” region at 25.9 million barrels. That is up from 25.8 million barrels a year ago. EIA reports that U.S. propane stocks as of that same date at 74.6 million barrels compared to 82.2 million barrels a year ago. Lower supply levels are attributed primarily to export pressures.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s most recent weekly heating oil and propane price report showed the average price for propane in Iowa at $1.26 per gallon. Last year’s price at this time of year averaged $1.13 per gallon.
Actions that farmers and other propane users can take now in order to prepare for this fall and winter include:
· Make sure propane supplies for grain drying, livestock facilities, homes and machine sheds are full going into the fall season.
· Take advantage of early buy/booking programs.
· Consider expanding on-site capacity at facilities and homes.
· Communicate early and regularly with propane suppliers.
According to the Sept. 10 USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Iowa Crop Progress & Condition report, 87 percent of the corn crop has reached the dent stage or beyond with 28 percent mature, one week ahead of the five year average.
“The Iowa Propane Gas Association and the state propane suppliers do a great job keeping abreast of supply and demand issues for this vital agricultural energy resource. We communicate regularly with all of our partners, especially during the harvest season, to ensure we are aware of and responding to any issues,” Naig said.