Large swathes of corn belt likely to need drying this year

A lot of propane could be needed for crop drying this year because the total area in the Corn Belt that could require it is substantial, DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist Bryce Anderson said Tuesday, September 17.

Because of heavy spring rains, many farmers across the entire Corn Belt planted later than normal and crop progress for this time of year is well behind normal levels, Anderson said.

The latest numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show 8 percent of the corn crop had reached maturity as of Sept. 15 compared to 33 percent last year and a five-year average of 21 percent. In Iowa 8 percent of the corn crop had reached maturity on Sept. 15 compared to a five-year average of 34 percent while in Wisconsin 2 percent had reached maturity versus a five-year average of 26 percent.

“Many farmers east of the Mississippi River have been planning to dry grain and that hasn’t been the case in years. West of the Mississippi, we will be well into October before a lot of this year’s crop will be ready for harvest,” Anderson said.

DTN today modified its weather forecast for October with expectations now for below-average temperatures in the eastern Corn Belt, which should translate to more fuel needed for drying, Anderson said.

“West of the Mississippi there are indications we’ll see above-average temperatures but drying will still be needed. Some extended harvest is expected north of I-80,” Anderson said.