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Propane Shortage in Midwest Could Affect Harvests

Created: 10/26/2013 4:37 PM KSTP.com
By: Cassie Hart

Demand for propane to dry crops has spiked, leading to problems distributing the fuel to farms across the Midwest.
    
A Mankato Free Press report cites two factors contributing to the shortage: unusually wet crops and simultaneous harvests that are normally staggered through the fall.
    
Farmers get better prices for crops that are below a certain level of moisture. Without enough propane to remove excess moisture, farmers are likely to leave their crop in the field until they can get more of the fuel. That won't necessarily hurt yield but it raises the risk of having to harvest in snow season.
    
Propane distributors say the supply is good, but there's just a short-term distribution problem. That can happen when too many farmers are trying to harvest at the same time.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
 

Some farmers in North Iowa may have to stop harvesting crops because of a shortage of propane. Gov. Terry Branstad is suspending the specific hours that drivers can transport propane in Iowa.
Photo: AP/ The Globe-Gazette, Jeff Heinz

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