Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Russ QuinnDTN Staff ReporterOMAHA (DTN) — With much of the Corn Belt facing a late-maturing, high-moisture crop, some farmers are already making plans to dry their grain this fall. That means they’ll likely need to purchase propane — if they haven’t already — to fuel their grain dryers.Late summer and early fall is the time many farmers lock in propane prices for the grain-drying season. With a wet spring delaying planting this year, especially in the Eastern Corn Belt, there could be a lot of wet grain to dry this fall.Right now, propane prices are low thanks to high production of the fuel, according to propane analysts. But high demand for propane during harvest followed by a cold winter could push prices higher.PROPANE PRICE AT MULTI-YEAR LOWThere is a good supply of propane in the country as fall harvest begins, said DTN Refined Fuels Reporter Alton Wallace. That has been the case in the U.S. since the beginning of the “Shale Revolution” in 2012, which has allowed the country to dramatically increase crude oil and natural gas production, he said.According to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) statistics, propane production in the U.S. is now roughly about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd). And production is continuing to increase, Wallace said, growing by 8.3% from 2017 to 2019.“We have a lot of propane right now,” Wallace said.One doesn’t have to be an economist to figure out that if supply outpaces demand, prices will decline, Wallace said. In mid-August, for example, the price of propane at the Conway, Kansas, hub fell to 37 cents per gallon, a three-and-a-half-year low, he said. In mid-September 2018, the price at Conway was near 78 cents a gallon.With propane production at record levels, the market is in an oversupply situation, and prices have been less volatile than in the past, Wallace said.“The U.S. has become an energy superpower because of the Shale Revolution,” he said.While it appears likely that propane prices will be fairly low this fall, there are some factors that could drastically alter that outlook, Wallace said.The propane market can see increased volatility due to the weather, Wallace said. As history has shown, extremely cold winter weather can cause an increase in propane demand and prices can skyrocket quickly. A harvest season in which farmers need more propane to dry down wet crops followed by a cold winter could create a situation where propane prices move considerably higher, he said.Another factor that could affect propane prices is the burgeoning export market.Because of its increased propane production, the U.S. has become a major exporter on the global market, Wallace said. EIA data for the week ended Sept. 13 showed U.S. propane exports at 1.162 million barrels per day.Wallace said companies are building export facilities as this is becoming an important component of the market. The downside to increased propane exports is if export demand for propane rises, those buying propane in the U.S. — such as farmers — are forced to compete for availability with the export market, he said.SOME BOOK PROPANE, SOME DON’TIn August, DTN asked readers about their propane-buying habits. This question was posed in the DTN 360 Poll: “As propane production has increased and domestic demand has been flat, the price of propane has dropped to half its value during the past 12 months. Some farmers may be thinking about their propane needs for the upcoming crop drying and heating. What is your plan for propane this late-summer/fall?”The poll received a total of 171 responses. Of those, 46% said they “Will book propane in August.” Thirty-nine percent said they were “Not going to book propane at all,” while 12% said they “Will book propane in September.” The remaining 3% said they “Will book propane in October.This week, Mark Nowak, a farmer and ag consultant from Wells, Minnesota, told DTN his propane dealer was set to visit him the same day to preorder some of his propane needs. He was set to lock his propane price at $1.08 per gallon, which he said was down from last year ($1.19 per gallon) and 2017 ($1.13 per gallon).There could be a lot of crop drying needed this fall across the Corn Belt, Nowak said. He estimated that most of the corn will black layer by Oct. 1, and thus, the moisture at that time would likely be around 32%.Most farmers harvest corn around 22%-24%, so the crop will need to dry 8% to 10% in October, he said.“I think the month of October is going to be the wildcard here,” Nowak said. “If we continue to see this warm and dry weather, I think the crop can dry down pretty good. But if we see cool and cloudy weather, maybe we will be doing a lot of drying.”CROP MOST BEHIND IN EASTERN CORN BELTCorn and soybean planting was delayed across much of the Corn Belt this spring by wet field conditions, but one region where this was especially true was the Eastern Corn Belt. Areas in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio saw much rain, which pushed planting to as late as the summer in some cases.Brian Scott, who farms near Monticello, Indiana, said his region will see a late harvest this fall. He estimated harvest could be around a month later than normal.“We have a lot of corn that probably won’t black layer until mid-October,” Scott told DTN.Scott said the grain dryers in his region are going to be used this fall. It has been a couple of years since they last used their grain-drying equipment, he said.Scott booked propane earlier this summer — not necessarily because of the amount of drying that could take place this fall, but to take advantage of a summer-fill discounted price. He topped off his 4,000-gallon storage tank like he normally does, he said.There are other farmers who are planning for the increased demand for propane this fall, Scott said. He said he knows of one farmer who built a new propane storage facility so he could get a good price on propane this year. The new facility will allow him to take a full semi-truckload of propane, Scott said.Another farmer who already booked some propane was Mike Cooprider of Howesville, Indiana. He planted his corn from May 18 through June 5. However, he wasn’t able to plant his soybeans until July 15.“Like most farmers, we are praying for a long fall,” Cooprider said.Cooprider said he dries “a lot of corn” every fall, but this year, he could be drying all of his corn crop. For that reason, he has already filled the propane tanks at his bin sites, he said.Russ Quinn can be reached at email@example.comFollow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN(AG/CZ)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.
Jammu cops to donate a day’s salary to martyrs’ kin Tension prevailed in Kashmir Valley for the second consecutive day on Sunday as restrictions continued in parts of Srinagar.Meanwhile, militants opened fire at security forces in three places. In Bijbehara, militants fired at army’s road opening party. “Militants fled immediately after opening a few shots,” said a police spokesman. Militants also opened fire on the Army and CRPF camps in Bijbehara and Budgam on Saturday night.Meanwhile in south Kashmir, where two civilians and three militants died in Friday’s gunfight, a spontaneous shutdown impacted life. There were also sporadic incidents of stone-pelting.Locals alleged security forces barged into their residences following an incident of stone pelting in Astan Pora in Anantnag and “thrashed inmates”.Meanwhile, train services resumed services after halting it for two days. The service on Budgam-Srinagar-Anantnag- Qazigund- Banihal track has been resumed, said an official. Most separatist leaders were also placed under house arrest.A 26-year-old youth, who was injured after unknown gunmen opened fire at him at Pingleena area of Pulwama in south Kashmir on Saturday evening, succumbed to injuries in Srinagar hospital on Saturday night.The victim has been identified as Aijaz Ahmad Malik. He had received two bullets in the abdomen.Also Read ‘No threat to pilgrims’Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani said on Sunday that there was no terror threat to the Amarnath Yatra pilgrims.“The people of Kashmir have always been friendly and generous to visitors, especially the Amarnath pilgrims. They have treated the Amarnath pilgrims with unique hospitality,” he said.“An adverse propaganda is being launched by the media suggesting that the pilgrims are facing a threat from the people of the State. Terror threat to the Amarnath Yatra is a brazen lie, aimed at maligning the people’s movement,” he said. He said the people of Kashmir “are not against any religion.” “Fanatical forces in India are desperate to give a bad name to the freedom movement and are relying on negative propaganda…”
Zaheer AbbasI don’t see Pakistan winning this World Cup. It’s not at all a strong team. Pakistan have only two good batsmen-Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq. If these two fail in a match, there is no one to navigate the team out of a crisis. Younis Khan is an experienced player and knows how to play according to the situation. Though he started playing cricket at the international level very late-at the age of 27-Misbah has been improving with every game. What has impressed me most is his effort to spend maximum time at the crease.Our bowling has obviously lost the sheen. The team can’t depend on Shoaib Akhtar as he is not 100 per cent fit. He is limping and can break down any moment. There is no immediate replacement for Akhtar. It’s heartening to see him taking wickets but the team clearly misses the services of Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir who have had to sit out of the tournament due to their involvement in the spot fixing scam. Umar Gul has to be consistent and Abdur Razzaq can be effective only on fast wickets. I would also want to see Razzaq bat ahead of captain Shahid Afridi. Razzaq has won us several matches coming at No.6.Misbah-ul-HaqThe team is winning under Afridi but only a crisis will expose how good he is as a captain. He should bat only during slog overs as he doesn’t take responsibility. He wants to hit every ball for a six and doesn’t play according to the situation. He is now too old to change his style, so he should come out to bat only in the last six or seven overs. He should learn from Indian captain M.S. Dhoni. Dhoni was a pinch-hitter earlier, but ever since he became captain, he doesn’t throw his wicket.The Pakistan team is also one of the worst fielding sides in the tournament. They have to improve in this department quickly. Only then can the team hope to reach, at least, the semi-finals.advertisementZaheer Abbas is a former batsman of Pakistan. He spoke to Kaushik Deka. PITCH REPORT”There is pressure if you win, pressure if you lose. I would have told you the exact figure if I had a machine to measure it.”M.S. Dhoni, Indian captainWords WorthJournalists have deleted Tony Greig ‘s number from their phonebooks. The 6´´6´- tall English commentator has sent a letter to ESPN Star Sports asking for more money if he has to express his “valuable” views on the World Cup. He has already been paid over Rs 20 lakh by the channel for his services as a commentator. “If I have to open my mouth except for eating, you will have to pay for it,” Greig wrote.The SoothsayerAhead of the India vs England match at Bangalore on February 27, Shane Warne predicted on Twitter that the game would be a tie. Since then bookies across the globe are trying to get his number on speed dial. “Before you think there was something untoward regarding the prediction of a tie, I thought it was going to be a cracker-it was tongue-in-cheek, but right,” he tweeted again. Warnie, you are the new Octopus.