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“Ample” supply of propane for fall, winter

(Radio Iowa) – Experts say supplies of heating fuels in Iowa will be able to meet the demand this fall and winter.

“Supplies seem to be ample,” says Harold Hommes, director of the Iowa Department of Agriculture’s marketing bureau. ”We continue to be finding new sources and the whole complex of natural gas and propane are all in great supply right now.”

There may be a greater draw on propane supplies this fall to dry grain that’s harvested with higher-than-normal moisture levels in the kernels and beans.

“I know everyone’s braced certainly from the ag sector we’re going to see that increased demand because of the late crop and cooler summer,” Hommes says. “We’re sure hopeful that Mother Nature helps us out and we have that long fall and we can get some of that dried in a natural way. It’s out of our hands. We’ll wait and see what ultimate demand really is.”

In an average year, about half of Iowa’s corn crop is dried in bins with propane fuel. During the soggy harvest of 2007, propane prices topped $2 a gallon due to increased demand for drying grain. However, large supplies from recently tapped reserved in North Dakota have helped keep Midwest propane prices low in recent years.