WASHINGTON – Tight supplies of propane have pushed some turkey producers in Minnesota to delay shipments of turkeys. In response to the situation, the National Turkey Federation (NTF) and the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) are calling on Congress to take immediate steps to address the problem.

The Propane Education and Research Council, Washington, DC, said sub-zero temperatures have spurred demand for propane, and logistical challenges have made distribution of propane more difficult. News reports claim that propane suppliers are rationing the fuel or diverting supplies to residential customers. NTF noted that more than 20 states have issued disaster declarations related to the propane shortage.

“Some of our turkey farmers are delaying shipments of young birds to their farms to save on propane, but that can only be put off for a week or two before it wreaks havoc on the schedules of both the farmers and processing companies,” said Steve Olson, MTGA, executive director. “Farmers are working together with suppliers and other farmers to share propane. MTGA, on behalf of Minnesota’s turkey farmers, are working with our Congressional delegation to ensure that propane supplies do not run out.”

The trade associations are calling for specific action that would:

• Enable propane transportation through interstate pipelines, highways, rails, and waterways
• Maintain and expand federal allowances for propane suppliers to deliver increased supplies as long as temperatures and stocks remain critically low
• Identify all sensible legal authority federal agencies can use to mitigate the shortage