Despite a record crop of corn in the Midwest this summer, there shouldn't be propane shortages this winter, according to industry observers.
Propane is used to dry out the corn crop, to prevent mold, among other things. Last year there was also a record crop of corn AND it was very wet, so harvesters used more propane than usual. Then, an especially harsh winter on the east coast increased demand for propane before the supply could rebound. That resulted in propane price spikes.
But Baron Glassgow with the Rocky Mountain Propane Association says that won't happen again. “As a result of last year,” he says, “the propane industry and their customers have made a concerted effort to try to get customers filled early in the season. In addition, many propane marketers and some of their larger customers have added storage facilities.”
“Propane inventories are about 18 percent higher right now than they were at this time last year. So we feel confident that even if corn crops come in wet, and it’s a cold winter, that there will be ample supply of propane going through the winter.”
But he still recommends propane customers stock up for winter early.