April Energy News

Apr 05, 2022

Propane Delivery

April 2022.

If you read last month’s newsletter, you’ll recall that I retired from the Army Reserve. This month will be my last newsletter as I have decided to retire from Premier Cooperative to follow my dream and open a new online business. I will be offering items for sale such as cat swimwear, turkey foot back scratchers and chicken goggles. April fools! You’re stuck with me for a few more years. 

We’ve seen a lot of volatility in the energy markets since the war in Ukraine started. As I’m writing this newsletter crude oil is off $8 per barrel on the day. I can’t even begin to speculate on what crude oil prices will be by the time you read this. Or what the price will be in one hour, for that matter. What I do know is that while the Ukraine vs. Russia war is going on and China continues its lockdowns due to Covid, the volatility will continue into the near future unabated. We continue to offer diesel contracts to our farm customers. If you see a dip in the market and you want to get something locked in, please call your local Premier Cooperative energy office. 

Now that the frost is leaving the ground, our propane team is preparing for this season’s tank installations. With the high price of steel and the constricted supply of propane related parts, there may be delays in getting new tanks or parts to our customers. If you know you have a propane project coming up, give us a call early so that we can get you a place in line for the tank or parts that you will need. 

Let’s talk a little bit about propane regulators. Regulators control the amount of propane that flows into your propane fueled appliances and equipment. On a normal home installation, there is a regulator on the tank and one on the house. The manufacturer recommended life of a propane regulator is 25 years. Like any mechanical object, parts inside of the regulator will wear out. Of main concern is the fabric diaphragm. They get brittle with age and if that ruptures, propane gas could potentially rush out of the vent and cause a fire or explosion if it ignites. If we tell you your regulators need to be replaced please, for the sake of yourself and your family, let us replace them. It’s an inexpensive way to keep your family safe. 

I don’t need to tell you that we are seeing some of the highest gasoline prices ever. There is an alternative to gasoline, which is propane autogas. Unlike gasoline, you are able to lock in your price for a year just like you can the propane in your home. There are incentives available to cover quite a bit of the conversion costs and with the Alternative Fuels Tax Rebate, you can get back a little over the cost of your road tax on propane. Customers who locked in their propane autogas are paying $1.599 per gallon (after the tax rebate). On my personal truck, I have saved about $12,000 on fuel costs.  

My engine starts on gasoline and after it gets warmed up it switches automatically to propane. If you are going on a long trip and you run out of propane, it automatically switches back to gasoline. If refueling on propane is difficult when going on long trips, you can run on gasoline until you get back or find a reputable propane autogas dealer along your route. We have public refuelers in Mt. Horeb, Dodgeville, Viroqua and Bloomington. If you have a long commute to work and you live near one of these refueling sites, give me a call and we’ll see if it makes sense for you. 

Since we’re on the propane autogas topic, did you know there are hundreds of buses running on propane autogas in Wisconsin? We are teaming up with Roush Cleantech and Wisconsin Bus Sales for a Propane Ride and Drive Event. We will be sending out invitations for this event but if you are an owner of a private transportation company, a school district superintendent or budget officer, or a school board member, please call us and we’ll make sure you’re on the list. You’ll be able to learn how other districts have saved money on transportation costs to allocate the money to other areas. Propane autogas is better for the environment and saves money. A real no brainer. 

Thanks for sharing your time with me again and thank you for your business. 

Tim Lease

Division Manager

Latest Posts

Mar 03,2023
With spring just around the corner, your cooperative is gearing up for another one of our seasonal rushes…spring planting season. Not only will we see our total employee count peak for the year, but nearly every asset in the company will be in use. While many businesses have equipment and buildings that are in use all year long, our grain and agronomy divisions have millions of dollars invested in some assets that only get used for a few months out of the year. It is critical that these assets are fully operational and ready to go when the season starts. Our agronomy operations team has spent the winter months going through all the equipment to make sure it's in good working order, unwrapping and greasing up the new sprayers, trucks and other equipment we’ve purchased this year, updating technology and precision tools on existing equipment, and conducting hours of training on its use and safety. 

In addition, the crop advisors and admin staff have been putting the finishing touches on crop plans and seed orders, wrapping up input financing and nutrient management plans, hiring and training new staff including college interns to help scout fields, and maybe taking a little time away to get rested for what is sure to be long days and short nights ahead. If you’re still looking to finalize plans for this planting season, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our highly trained crop advisors.

Gearing up for spring is not only about the equipment, but also the additional staff needed to provide the products and services our members rely on to help feed the world. Each year we try to fill about 100 full and part time positions at our eleven agronomy locations. These positions can last from six weeks up to eight months. Most seasonal positions involve delivering product to our members or directly to fields to keep our custom application machines running smoothly. If you or someone you know is interested in seasonal or year-round employment, please contact Shayla at our Mt Horeb office or stop by one of the agronomy locations. The hours can be flexible and available up to seven days a week. If agronomy work isn’t for you, ask about openings at any of our other locations including retail associates, plant operations, truck drivers, administrative professionals and more. Premier is always looking to add quality people to our team.

Thank you for your continued support of Premier Cooperative and its staff. Have a great month and stay safe!
Mar 03,2023
Cattle nutrient requirements can vary by season and stage of production. Now is a great time to evaluate your cattle mineral programs and map out a plan to maximize impact.

While minerals are a relatively small portion of the diet, they control many vital functions in cattle and impact everything from cattle reproduction to feed efficiency and overall herd health. That's why it’s so important to make sure the mineral needs of your cattle are being met year-round.
Mar 03,2023
I know many of you have plans in place for a spring burndown herbicide application. If not, here are a few reasons for you to get in contact with your Premier agronomist to do so. Spring burndown applications typically target winter annuals and perennial grasses that overwinter and resume growing as soon as temperatures warm in the spring.  As they get going in the field they immediately begin stealing water and nutrients from the soil, and can create planting challenges. With the onset of resistant weeds like waterhemp, and standby challenges like giant ragweed, it is a best practice recommendation to add a strong residual herbicide to your preplant spring burndown application.  Doing so helps keep populations down and gets ahead of your first early post application. Here are some tips for establishing clean fields that give your crop a strong start.