Propane Shortage Impacting Poultry Farms Across Minn.

Updated: 01/31/2014 8:50 PM By: Cassie Hart

A propane shortage is affecting hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans.

Governor Dayton decided to extend an emergency executive order because of the propane emergency, and that could help poultry farms who are struggling to get by on the propane they have.

John Zimmerman, of Northfield, is at his wits end and is down to rationing his propane to stay afloat. “There are times in the fall when every farmer is drying crops that they are rationing but to be rationing now is uncommon,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman has a 12,000 gallon propane tank. He just got a delivery for 1,500 gallons, which will supply his barns, his house and his mother’s place.

He says, the propane may only last him a week, “depending on the weather of course we're burning roughly 200 gallons a day right now.”

The shortage of propane is being felt in southern states and throughout the Midwest. There are 250,000 people who use propane to heat their homes.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman says the state is working with Texas to ship more propane north. Gov. Dayton, will be making our trucks will be able to load in Texas.

There is also a new call center to help those in need. Folks can get help with applying for the low income heating assistance program, plus crisis benefits opened up for people on propane. They are able to apply for up to a $1,000 to help them pay for propane.

Zimmerman says, they have enough funds to handle the short term and immediate needs. Back on the farm, Zimmerman says, he could order more propane to fill his tanks.

However he says, that wouldn't be the ethical thing to do when others need it also. Zimmerman says, he will continue with small amounts and pray for the best.