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Wet corn causes propane shortage

Gov. Jim Doyle has declared a state of emergency to help alleviate a shortage of propane.

Doug Caruso of the Wisconsin Farmers Union says the demand for the fuel is higher than normal because it's needed to help dry a high-moisture corn crop.

Doyle's declaration will expand the hours that propane terminals are open during the next two weeks.

Caruso says there have been long waits at terminal points where drivers get propane for delivery to drying facilities. The state of emergency also gives temporary relief to federal driving limits for truck drivers who carry propane.

High moisture continues to be a problem with the corn crop, but as it gets colder, farmers cannot wait much longer for the crop to dry in the field.

Twenty-one percent of the year's grain corn was harvested statewide last week, bringing the total to 59%. That's still well below the norm of 87% by this time.

Low test-weights and mold have also been problems with some of the corn.

The soybean crop is pretty much in. Ninety-four percent was harvested as of Sunday.