Back in 2019, propane shortages hit Indiana. The problem wasn’t necessarily a supply issue, but instead an issue of logistics and getting it delivered to the right places. With supply chain issues making headlines and a massive truck driver shortage, are we in the same position this year?
“We’re really not having distribution issues like we did in 2019,” says Mike Newland, Director of Ag Business Development for the Propane Education & Research Council. “Much different scenarios, much different years. In 2019, we were just coming out of a very wet fall from a corn moisture standpoint. It’s been very much a different corn growing season in 2021. We had a very dry corn growing season, so we’re coming out of a year where we burnt very little propane for corn drying.”
Newland says that was a blessing for the propane industry.
“We were coming into the fall with below the 5-year average supplies in storage. So, we were tracking the corn growing season and knew that we were going to be drier than normal, which was good for us, but we were trying to build supplies and inventories. The dry corn allowed us to do that. So, the good news here in the recent weeks are that we’ve been able to build some supplies, especially in the Midwest.”
Even though there aren’t any apparent issues this year, Newland explains that many states are preparing for the worst given the truck driver shortage. Governor Eric Holcomb last week signed an executive order waiving the hours-of-service regulations for drivers transporting propane. The Agribusiness Council of Indiana says that is “welcome news”.