Start with a plan, consider FS Propane in the New Year

​Growing up a farmer's daughter, one word can describe what I felt when someone would ask FS Propane.jpgwhat my dad did for a living - proud. Not only was his career choice humbling in my mind, but with the help of his brother, he had grown what was a love for farming into a very successful career.  Farming is not only his passion, it’s his business.

The start of a new year gives us the opportunity to set goals to increase net profit for your farming operation for the coming year.  What challenges and/or opportunities do you see during 2016 that will affect your bottom line?  How can supplier resources, technological advancements and the use of information help you make smarter decisions?

I'm an advocate for a plan. Within the FS system, we work hard to formulate a plan based on the needs of our cooperative system.  Specific to propane our FS Propane Specialists look to our farmer owners as business partners.  Programs are designed to meet their needs including:

  • Risk Management Options - Our focus is to provide recommendations and counsel on contracting options to manage through marketplace price and supply volatility.
  • Reliable Supply – As the 4th largest retailer in the United States (LP Gas Magazine, 2015) our contract offerings expand over 60 terminal locations throughout the Midwest to ensure a reliable supply (GROWMARK, Inc.).
  • Cooperative Resources - As a result of long-term relationships with multiple suppliers, we have extensive storage, logistics, and distribution capabilities to ensure a dependable supply.
  • Flexible Program Options – Service plans, contract options and Agri-Finance are a couple of programs designed with farmers in mind.

In addition to program options available, new offerings are developing for propane equipment on the farm.  With inventory storage levels at a record of 100 million barrels, production continues to be on the rise. Prices remain low making it an opportune time to review the use of propane on the farm.  Applications include heating buildings such as shops, livestock operations, and greenhouses; grain-drying, irrigation pumps and standby generators name a few others in which propane can be a competitive and economical energy source. An incentive program through PERC is available to help farmers integrate new propane technology. Visit to see if funds are available for a particular application.

Winter marks a great time to pause and review your business plan for the coming year. Are there specific programs or tools you haven’t leveraged yet?   How can you improve your bottom line during 2016 with decisions made today?  Work with your local FS Propane Specialist to take advantage of the knowledge and expertise available to you. 

Becky Hornblower is GROWMARK’s Propane Marketing and Technical Services Manager. Her email is: bhornblower@