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Top off the on-farm fuel tanks, says Ohio State economist

Farmers who store fuel on-site should consider laying in full supplies, given the prospects for higher prices in the months to come, according to an Ohio State Extension economist.

Increasing global demand, rather than a shortage of refining capacity, is the big factor causing higher gas prices, Matthew Roberts said in an OSU Extension news release this week.

Government regulations that require reductions in sulfur content in gasoline and diesel could begin this summer, and refineries need to be taken offline to make these and other adjustments, he said.

"We are entering into the refinery maintenance season, where the units are taken off-line to be repaired, modified, or upgraded. Some refineries went off-line March 2," Roberts said. "More refineries will continue to go off-line, and as that happens, we'll see the price of gas continue to increase."

Retail gas prices have risen about 8 cents in the past two weeks. And the strong demand for fuel will help push prices high well into April, Roberts said.

"The take-away point of this whole situation is that for those who have fuel storage, I would be filling it to the max right now," Roberts said. "It would probably be wise to fill fuel storage for use through June, and if you have any additional capacity, to fill up all tanks at this point."

Farmers who store fuel on-site should consider laying in full supplies, given the prospects for higher prices in the months to come, according to an Ohio State Extension economist.

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