As thousands of Michigan farmers know, when it comes to drying grain, propane is tough to beat. With a higher BTU than natural gas, the availability and reliability of on-site fuel storage, and the knowledge that propane won’t contaminate grain, soil or water, it’s no wonder that the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) reports that more than nearly 80 percent of all grain dryers run on propane.
More benefits of propane-fueled grain drying:
- Propane is portable — it’s available whenever and wherever you are without the high expense of connecting to a supply line.
- Propane stores exceptionally well, so there’s no need to drain tanks or stabilize fuel from one season to the next.
- Thanks to the way propane is delivered and stored, fuel theft is of little to no concern.
- Propane suppliers (like Crystal Flash) can use Auto-Fill programs and tank monitoring systems to develop a delivery schedule that ensures your tank is always full.
- Modern propane grain drying systems are up to 50 percent more efficient than older models.
Modern grain dryer technology
While many farmers have experience with traditional propane grain dryers, some may not be familiar with the latest models and just how far the technology has progressed. Today’s grain dryers use about half the propane of older systems, which were already very efficient. Modern dryers use approximately 1,650 BTUs to remove a pound of water, compared to as much as 3,500 BTUs with older dryer technology, for example.
The continuous-flow propane dryers on the market today are designed with fast-paced, high-yield operations in mind. They’re designed for a long life, with low maintenance requirements, giving producers more drying time and less downtime.
New online grain drying calculator tool
PERC recently launched an online grain drying calculator tool to help producers determine the number of propane gallons needed each season using just three simple data points. Users simply input their average expected yield to determine the number of propane gallons needed to dry crops by a specific moisture percentage. From there, PERC’s tool will calculate approximately how many gallons of propane will be needed, making it easier to fill tanks early and prepare for supply needs prior to an increase in demand.
New study reveals common misperceptions about propane cost
PERC recently conducted a study of corn and soybean growers in the Midwest, and fruit and vegetable growers in California. The study revealed that among respondents who’ve considered propane equipment, many named fuel costs and conversion cost as reasons for not currently using propane.
In their analysis of the study results, PERC contends that propane offers cost savings throughout ownership and can be even more affordable for producers who participate in the Propane Farm Incentive Program. The program provides a financial incentive of up to $5,000 toward the purchase of new propane-powered farm equipment. In exchange, program participants agree to share real-world performance data with the Propane Council.
“The survey revealed a reoccurring theme of common cost misconceptions among producers, so many may be surprised to learn that propane equipment, because it’s so efficient, can actually lower fuel costs for nearly every application,” said Mike Newland, director of agriculture business development at PERC. “Most notably, participants in the incentive program who purchased new, efficient grain dryers reported a 50 percent reduction in fuel cost per bushel compared with previously owned propane models.”
How can Crystal Flash help?
With propane grain dryers, farm operators always have the power they need to dry crops on their schedule, while reducing crop loss and improving yields. Propane is reliable, effective, and efficient — which is why it’s been the number one choice of American producers for decades.
The employee-owners of Crystal Flash are ready to help with all your grain drying questions or needs. Contact our Commercial Sales Team today and we can walk through any questions and considerations together.