MN's propane buyback program will have more impact outside of Northland, say retailers

By KBJR News 1

Credit: MGN Online

MN's propane buyback program will have more impact outside of Northland, say retailers

February 6, 2014 Updated Feb 6, 2014 at 11:44 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - State–led efforts to encourage Minnesota's farmers to sell back their excess propane to wholesalers most likely won't have a positive impact on the Northland's propane shortage, say retailers.

Yesterday we reported that state officials are asking Minnesota farmers who have a surplus of propane to consider selling it back to their suppliers.

Duluth's Como Oil and Propane Co–President Will Norman says it's a potentially economically feasible process.

However, that depends on how much propane farmers have left over after a heavier than normal corn crop drying season.

Norman says it also depends on how much farmers paid for their propane, and how much they're willing to ask for if they choose to sell.

As for the Arrowhead Region, Norman says it's unlikely that the buyback program would alleviate our area's shortage since there's little corn drying needed in the Northland.

"But as soon as you get south of Hinckley, perhaps, where the Corn Belt starts, there's an incredible amount. But we don't do any," said Norman, "we [sell] zero gallons for corn drying."

Norman says pumping private propane back into wholesale tanks is a relatively tougher, and potentially costlier, process.

But he adds the good news is that prices are currently down to about $3.50 a gallon, and are expected to drop more.

Billy Wagness

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