High Demand For Propane Fuel Has Led To Short-term Shortages


Greg Dreckman with Sapp Brothers Petroleum Company is seen filling up his propane fuel truck.  Recent high demand has led to some logistical shortages of propane.

(Le Mars) — Middle America is experiencing a propane fuel shortage as farmers and grain elevators need propane to help reduce the moisture content and dry their crops, and homeowners and businesses are in need of the fuel to help heat their buildings since temperatures have dropped. Officials are
scrambling in order to deliver propane for those that need it most. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig informed KLEM news, the shortage is more of a delivery problem.

Naig says he and the governor, and other officials, are working with stakeholders to see what can be done to increase the supply of propane. Naig says at least in the short-term the price for propane may increase.


Locally, suppliers have been able to keep up with the demand for propane fuel. Mark Hentges is the manager of Sapp Brothers Petroleum Company in Le Mars. He says, so far, he has been able to get propane and deliver it to his customers, however he admits the current situation has affected his business.

Hentges says he has not run out of propane, but the supplies have had to come from longer distances.

Doug Schuur manages the Farmers Cooperative Elevator at Craig. He says so far, his supplier has been able to meet his propane demands for drying this year’s corn harvest.

Schuur says the corn harvest within his trade area is nearing completion, and he feels confident he has enough propane fuel to adequately carry him through the harvest.

The Farmers Cooperative Elevator manager says the corn that has been delivered to his grain elevator ranges between 18 to 20 percent moisture level. Ideally, moisture level for corn should be at 15 percent for long- term storage.

Schuur refers to this year’s harvest as an average harvest.

Many officials believe the situation will be resolved within a few weeks, after the harvest is completed.