The record low temperatures felt in Minnesota this November are creating headaches for many farmers who are trying to harvest their crops.

In order to prevent corn from spoiling, many farmers use propane or natural gas to dry their crops in order to lower moisture content. The problem, according to farmer and State Representative Nathan Nelson (R-Hinckley), is that there is a propane shortage in some areas of the state, and propane opposition among Democrats in the Minnesota House.

“Many farmers have had problems getting in the fields due to wet conditions and an early winter,” Nelson said. “Now they’re having problems getting their crops dried.”

Nelson noted that the propane and natural gas shortage could become more likely in the years ahead if legislation proposed by House Democrats becomes law. Last session Democrats introduced the Minnesota Green New Deal - House File 2836. Nelson noted the proposal specifically states that it would impose a construction moratorium on new facilities “to transport, store, or process” propane, natural gas and other fossil fuels, which he said works against the efforts of energy suppliers to help bring needed resources to market.

Because of this, Nelson will introduce legislation in 2020 to protect propane and natural gas supplies and ensure that critical infrastructure can be built to serve the state’s energy consumers and farmers.

“We don’t want to penalize farmers for doing their jobs,” Nelson said. “The goal of my bill is to ensure farmers will always be able to appropriately dry their crops when there’s a late harvest.”

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