Officials say a late harvest, wet corn and the fall chill have combined to multiply demand for propane in Iowa and other states.
Iowa ag secretary Mike Naig told The Des Moines Register that the demand has "created a supply pinch" as farmers rush to bring in their crops. And he says nearly every bushel of corn needs to be dried. Record flooding and heavy spring rains delayed planting. Federal ag officials say only 43% of Iowa's corn crop has been brought in and the harvest is 11 days behind the typical figure at this time of year. In neighboring Nebraska, Monday's U.S. Department of Agriculture report shows 60% of the state's corn has been harvested, compared with 69% for the five-year average. Lynne Schuller is executive director of the Nebraska Propane Gas Association, and she says the shortage is more of a transport problem in meeting the propane demanded by farmers, grain elevators and rural residents.