Rural America and Iowa are no strangers to the use of propane. Their relationship can be traced back at least 100 years and is seen being used in the home and around the operation.

Photo by Randall Mann on Unsplash
Photo by Randall Mann on Unsplash

CHS, the nation’s largest ag cooperative, is encouraging farmers to prepare for shortages in propane this fall.

Propane can be a source of fuel for all kinds of farm vehicles such as lawnmowers, forklifts, to tractors. According to Crystal Flash, many vehicles are able to be converted from diesel or gasoline to propane.

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However, according to CHS CEO Jay Debertin, the foreign export market continues to grow. He told Brownfield this is impacting the propane market.

Now, CHS doesn’t export propane, we consume it here. But it is impacting the market, so I think supply planning for propane is going to be really, really key.

Propane is the liquid that is produced from liquid components that are recovered from natural gas processing. The Department of Energy says these components included ethane, methane, propane, and butane, as well as heavier hydrocarbons.

It poses many benefits for farmers. It can help them save money, burns with fewer emissions are reliable, flexible, and is American-made.

Debertin says that with the propane market growing, farmers can’t wait to know their harvest propane needs.

Because by then it might be too late to get supply plans put in place and have it when you need it. Because it’s such a short season, and it goes so fast.

He adds that he is more confident about fertilizer supplies for this fall, however, says prices will probably remain high.

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