High moisture content leaving some farmers using more propane - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Rainy weather leaving some farmers using more propane to dry their crops

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According to the last report released by the Iowa Department of Agriculture, for the first time this harvest corn has been harvested ahead of the five year average. Across the state of Iowa, the report says 75 percent of corn has now been harvested, but this season's high moisture content and limited propane supplies created some challenges for farmers needing to dry down the crop for storage.

Jeff Schmitt is about 40 percent done harvesting his corn crop in eastern Iowa. He says this year has been his best year for corn.

"The corn is a little bit wetter but that's a good problem I think because of the late rain is why the crop that we have is as good as we do." Schmitt said.

Once harvested, Schmitt dries his corn for storage and feeds it to his livestock. This seasons high moisture content has left Schmitt using slightly more propane to dry his crop this season.

"We have been using some more but now with harvesting being pushed back the days are going to be cooler and naturally it is going to take more propane because you dry in a certain temperature as your nature air is at a lower temperature. It takes more propane to raise that." Schmitt said.

Schmitt says his propane supplier has not limited their supply of propane but he says he has heard other suppliers are limiting their supplies.

Although their is a slight increase in the amount of propane Schmitt is using to dry his crops, he says he would rather pay for more propane than buy corn.

"Last year we bought corn because it was a shorter crop," Schmitt said. "I would rather buy propane as opposed to buying corn to feed my livestock operation."

According to the latest report released by the Iowa Department of Agriculture, some farmers are waiting to harvest high moisture corn or they are storing it on the farm to avoid extra drying costs.

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