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Aug 23, 2018

Planning For Fall B20 and LP Usage

By Chad Larson - Energy Sales Manager

Here we are mid-August, and harvest is right around the corner. As those of us in Minnesota know, we are required to have 20% soy-methyl ester in our clear and dyed diesel fuel. This mandate is required in all retail and bulk gallons to end users.

One of the topics we want to cover today is the management of the higher concentration of soy or “bio” in colder temps.

First, the soy content goes back to 5% Oct 1st

We have been explaining to customers gelling can happen in temps as low as 38 degrees. Gelling was seen with B10 last year as harvest pushed on late into cooler temps. With another projected late harvest this year, we could see this again. We saw #1 diesel, and PowerService (antigel), used to effectively combat the gelling. With the 2-5 micron fuel filters on today's equipment, it doesn’t take much to plug them with B10, now B20 in cooler temps or whatever residual amount of soy you may have had in the tank with B5 delivered after Oct. 1st.

I recommend getting in touch with me or your salesperson to discuss the amount of B20 you want on hand ahead of bean harvest and how you want to handle deliveries as we get into corn, or as Oct 1st approaches and we go back to B5. Each customer has their operational specifics (tank sizes is the big one), and it would be best to contact us to address each of you on a one on one basis given those variable factors.

Propane Usage

What will we use this year for propane is the million dollar question. If we get a good October, we could be fairly ok, but the variable dry down as we look across a field is a concern. We might see 18% in one part we stick our combine snouts into and in 300 feet over 28%. To date, most of you have looked at contracting or locked in propane to protect against upside potential.

Typical patterns as we get “in-season” and the dryers fire up, upside potential can be expected as demand, of course, picks up.  In the central part of our territory and west, we are expecting a decrease in bushels per acre. Last year most customers were pleased with the yields and had above normal bushels to throw across the burner. We may have less bushels, yes, but we still could see fair usage depending upon how hard this corn dries.

Again, please call with any concerns or questions.

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