WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, is putting forward a bipartisan measure with Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) to include the storage of propane in the Farm Storage Facility Loan program through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Currently, propane storage does not qualify as an expense to be covered under the loan program, even though over 80% of grain dryers run on propane. Ernst’s effort aims to include propane storage under the program, which will mitigate rising costs and supply chain issues impacting propane accessibility for farmers.
“Iowa farmers have felt the pressure in recent years with late planting seasons and cold snaps, bringing an increased need for propane to dry grain and to keep their livestock warm. Day-to-day operations are directly tied to propane supply, and this bill gives our farmers access to additional capital for storage, avoiding uncertainty and disruption next harvest,” Ernst said.
The legislation is supported by Iowa agriculture leaders, including Iowa Department of Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig.
“More storage gives farmers and rural residents the opportunity to lock in their propane supply when prices are more affordable and availability is more predictable,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “I appreciate Senator Ernst putting forward this legislation because this is an issue I hear about regularly as I travel the state due to propane’s importance for home and livestock barn heating as well as grain drying.”
“Iowa’s corn farmers depend on propane throughout the year for various abilities of heating livestock facilities and drying corn. We thank Senator Ernst for looking out for Iowa’s farmers so we can count on an adequate supply,” said Denny Friest, Iowa Corn Growers Association President.
Read the full bill here.