Lets talk pellets in 2020-2021

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
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lagger

Feeling the Heat
Apr 2, 2014
327
Bloomingburg NY
here in the mid hudson valley area the prices are the same .. green supreme 5.48 a bag - 10% for a ton or more... 6.48 for Green Team ... but they stopped giving a discount when bought in bulk (> 1 ton) .. lowes also advertises Virginia Golden on the website but order at your own risk .. they don't have them, use the same sku as, and deliver green supremes instead (NEWPS)
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
here in the mid hudson valley area the prices are the same .. green supreme 5.48 a bag - 10% for a ton or more... 6.48 for Green Team ... but they stopped giving a discount when bought in bulk (> 1 ton) .. lowes also advertises Virginia Golden on the website but order at your own risk .. they don't have them, use the same sku as, and deliver green supremes instead (NEWPS)

Some years back I ran short on pellets (and my corn supply was limited as well) so I went to Lowers and bought some of what they had in stock and they were terrible, I still remember how bad (ashy-dirty) they were. Don't remember the brand name offhand though.

I can roast about anything (even cherry pits) but they were bad.

One nice thing about Tractor Supply around here is, if you buy by the pallet and you find any wet pellets in that pallet, they will replace them at no charge, you just take the empty bag back. I've done that in the past when I've found wet pellets in a pallet. Usually the bottom layer because the 'highly skilled' forklift drivers at TSC spear the bottom bags with their forks.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Have to relate a funny story to all of you pellet burners. 2 years ago I saw a heck of a deal on the Internet for Somerset pellets, they were $150.00 delivered, seller was Zoro so I ordered what I thought was a ton of Somersets delivered to my farm. About a week later a commercial carrier pulled up and I went and got my forklift, I was all set for a cheap ton of Somersets. Driver looked at me kind of strange as he opened the rear door. On a pallet, there was exactly ONE 40 pound bag of pellets.

I refused the shipment and promptly did a charge back on Zorro. I guess if it's too good to be true, it probably isn't.
 

UpStateNY

Feeling the Heat
May 4, 2008
374
Catskill Mountains
LP prices are higher also. I paid 75 cents per gallon this year versus 65 cents per gallon last year for my summer fill. I own my own tanks and take around 1100 gallons. This lasts me all year.
I got to ask, why are you burning pellets if you can buy LP gas at 75 cents a gallon? The cost per BTU would mean that you are burning cash dollars every time you burn a bag of wood pellets.

Around here in the Hudson Valley I pay $1.45 a gallon of LP gas and I have my own 325 gallon tank. Crap Lowes pellets $245 a ton. Quality pellets in my area are $325 a ton. I stopped burning pellets last year. I still have my pellet stove ready to go if the price of LP goes north.

WOW I just checked and I see price of fuel oil now is $1.55 a gallon. I will now need to shop around to see if I can get a better price on LP gas.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
The break even cost of LP or fuel oil versus pellets is around $1.50 per gallon (LP) based and if you extrapolate the gleaned BTU's (pellets versus propane versus oil), if the pellets are say 220 a ton), $1.50 per gallon is the break over point. Myself, it's not economically sound to run pellets because the cost of my propane is about $1.10 a gallon, and I'm not factoring in the cost of the electricity on the furnace or the pellet stove either. In my case, my cost per BTU is less with biomass because I burn corn and pellets but I'm still not on the plus side (by a long shot) with pellets. I still use the $1.50 per gallon as the break point.

Again, we use the stove anyway because we like the fire and the continual heat output and the animals like it to. Cats sleep on top of the stove...lol

I remember when pellets were $125.00 a ton. Those were the days.

Propane / NG and fuel oil is much more convenient but again, no ambiance

Like I said, $212 here for pellets. Just bought 2 ton and in the barn. Have about 5 ton of corn in the grain tank, way more in biomass than I need this year.

Kind of understandable why the local TSC has 60 ton in stock, no one around here is using them. Not cost effective.
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,009
Eastern Ontario
Here in Eastern Ontario, we pay 2.71 for an imperial gallon or if you prefer
2.30 per. US gallon. So in that case pellets at 6$ a bag is the better deal
for similar BTU output
I know I know did not figure in the efficiency of the furnace at 96% and stove at 87%
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Interestingly, pellet prices are all over the place (as usual). I'd think in Canada, Hydro would be cheaper than oil or LP. I was always under the assumption that in Canada, hydro power was inexpensive.
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,009
Eastern Ontario
Ontario Hydro prices vary city's pay less rural people pay through the nose
Ontario sells power to new York and others for less than it costs to produce it
and the people of Ontario pay the difference.
Persons living in the city of Ottawa do not pay a delivery charge they pay 7 cents a kw
Rural people pay off peek 7.9 half peek 11.9 fool peek (7am to 7pm) 13,9
plus tax and a delivery charge which I think is 35 % of usage. My
Hydro bill for the farm is between 350 to 425 a month and that is low for an operating farm
 

Dataman

Minister of Fire
Sep 10, 2018
799
Newport, Wa
Where I live (Newport WA) rates are Residential customers pay a service availability charge of $35.50 per month plus 5.42 cents per kilowatt hour. Pellets cost me this year $500 for 2 Tons (2 On Hand) with Delivery. Or $250 per ton. $5.00 per bag. So it's cheaper in Fall to just use Heat Pump. At 30f nights I switch to Pellet Stove.
 

Flammam

Feeling the Heat
Dec 29, 2007
358
Western, Ma.
The break even cost of LP or fuel oil versus pellets is around $1.50 per gallon (LP) based and if you extrapolate the gleaned BTU's (pellets versus propane versus oil), if the pellets are say 220 a ton), $1.50 per gallon is the break over point. Myself, it's not economically sound to run pellets because the cost of my propane is about $1.10 a gallon, and I'm not factoring in the cost of the electricity on the furnace or the pellet stove either. In my case, my cost per BTU is less with biomass because I burn corn and pellets but I'm still not on the plus side (by a long shot) with pellets. I still use the $1.50 per gallon as the break point.

Again, we use the stove anyway because we like the fire and the continual heat output and the animals like it to. Cats sleep on top of the stove...lol

I remember when pellets were $125.00 a ton. Those were the days.

Propane / NG and fuel oil is much more convenient but again, no ambiance

Like I said, $212 here for pellets. Just bought 2 ton and in the barn. Have about 5 ton of corn in the grain tank, way more in biomass than I need this year.

Kind of understandable why the local TSC has 60 ton in stock, no one around here is using them. Not cost effective.
Damn you get all the cheap fuel propane is 4.55 gallon here and fuel oil is around 1.75 gal. Pellets are sitting right at 295 ton
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Damn you get all the cheap fuel propane is 4.55 gallon here and fuel oil is around 1.75 gal. Pellets are sitting right at 295 ton

I don't know why but it seems that the farther east you get from the Delaware Water Gap, the more expensive everything becomes. Maybe suppliers of LP and pellets out your way feel they can gouge you because out your way is where all the 'wealthy' people live. Even your gasoline prices are higher than here. Don't cost any more to make (pellets) or transport (LP and gasoline) than it does here.

I've always wondered about the cost difference.

Must be some logic to it.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Ontario Hydro prices vary city's pay less rural people pay through the nose
Ontario sells power to new York and others for less than it costs to produce it
and the people of Ontario pay the difference.
Persons living in the city of Ottawa do not pay a delivery charge they pay 7 cents a kw
Rural people pay off peek 7.9 half peek 11.9 fool peek (7am to 7pm) 13,9
plus tax and a delivery charge which I think is 35 % of usage. My
Hydro bill for the farm is between 350 to 425 a month and that is low for an operating farm
About where we are monthly with coal fired DTE. Less in the warm months, more in the cold months when the stock tank heaters are on a lot. Cattle have to drink after all. Never knew Ontario Hydro sold power to NYS.

We have 3 meters. One for the farmhouse, one for the electric HWH and one for the outbuildings and farm related stuff. The farm meter is 3 phase, the house and HWH are single phase.
 

UpStateNY

Feeling the Heat
May 4, 2008
374
Catskill Mountains
Here in the Hudson Valley our electric is Central Hudson which is now owned by Canada company Fortis.

For electric I pay 9 cents per KW to delivery/service and another 6 cents per KW for cost of energy to produce those KWs. Total is 15 cents per KW plus a standard $20 a month even if I don't use any KWs.

It always amazes me that our delivery/service charges per KW are higher than other states total cost per KW.

I just had heat pumps put in this summer because Central Hudson (Canada) gave me a $6,500 discount Wow kept the whole house nice and cool this summer and my electric bill came down. Thanks Canada! Right now I am using the heat pumps for heat. My other source of heat are a new propane boiler for hot water baseboard and Harman Advanced wood pellet stove. I am locked in at $1.45 a gallon for propane since I use 900 gallons.

Here is my math problem for heat this season. When do I use electric heat pump and when do I use propane? I figure if the outside temp is 40F or higher use the electric heat pump. When outside temp is below 30F then use propane.. Not sure what do do when outside temp is 35F. Heat efficiency of heat pump is 9 to 10. Any ideas on this let me know.

We will still be firing up the wood pellet stove 2 or 3 times a month just because we enjoy it.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
A good friend installed a water furnace (uses ground water to heat and cool his home) and his electric bill is 80 bucks a month, winter and summer. Closed loop buried 5-6 feet underground. It's ac and heat. Works very well. I'm impressed. Initial cost was high but the ROI is good too. Loop installed with a directional boring machine. 68 in the summer, 70 in the winter.

If I was 20 years younger, I'd consider one.
 

Former Farmer

Minister of Fire
Apr 12, 2008
532
NE Wisconsin
I got to ask, why are you burning pellets if you can buy LP gas at 75 cents a gallon? The cost per BTU would mean that you are burning cash dollars every time you burn a bag of wood pellets.
Again, we use the stove anyway because we like the fire and the continual heat output and the animals like it to. Cats sleep on top of the stove...lol
We use the stove to heat our main living area when we are home. LP is set at 68* and use the stove to warm up to 72*. My wife has already told me that if we ever move, she will want another pellet fireplace.

Last year, I lucked out when I talked to a local supplier for pellets. He had purchased several semi loads of pellets that some had gotten wet. He screened them and ran them through a grain seed cleaner. I purchased almost 6 ton of bulk from him of nice clean good quality pellets . I was able to get them for $150 per ton. I use just under 2 ton a year, so this should last me another 2 years.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
All I really use pellets for is to control the clinkering of the corn. If I run straight field corn (my stove is designed to burn just about anything but oilseed, I get clinkers which are a PITA. If I mix pellets and corn together at a 2-1 ratio, 2 parts corn to one part pellets, I don't have the clinker issue. One thing I've learned and that is, I need my corn at 10% or less RM. Most tanked field corn (from a co-op) will be at 15. 15% gives me clinkers. 10% don't, plus 10% burns hotter too.

Can be a PITA to blend the corn and pellets though. I usually mix up 4 plastic 30 gallon trash cans at a time, that lasts me about a week of serious dead of winter burning.

Certainly, the propane is cheap but the stove cooking away is nice too and we like it toasty in the house in the winter.
 

Former Farmer

Minister of Fire
Apr 12, 2008
532
NE Wisconsin
SidecarFlip,
How long does it take you to dry down the corn to 10%? I am assuming that you just dry down the last batch extra to be able to use for heating. I remember drying corn back when I still had the farm. Sold it back in 2003. The sweet smell coming from the dryer. Up all hours combining, hauling, unloading, drying, transferring, etc. Sometimes I miss it a little, but then I think of all the hard work and long hours and how little I actually profited from it.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Depends. I quit drying my own corn 3 years ago. Guy down the road ( good friend and fellow farmer) owns a multi million dollar seed corn business and has a huge corn drying, shelling, sorting and bagging operation and he runs my stove corn through his NG fired dryers for me at the end of his production run, which is usually first of November. Out of the gravity wagon, on his load scale, up into the dryer house and back into my wagon parked under the outbound conveyor and it's cleaned and screened too. All my field run corn goes to Andersons in Toledo, Ohio. He never charges me anything. I buy him a couple 5ths of Crown and he's happy and my wife shares our canned stuff with his wife. Likes our potatoes and stuffed green peppers too.

I typically get it at 10%RM. benchmark RM for field corn is 15%. 10% corn is yellow BB's. One gravity wagon load for him is peanuts. he runs twin self unload scales that will take 2 40 foot tri axle dumps of seed cobs at a crack. I bet he has a million five in rolling stock too. Has his own semi trucks, new or new JD combines, tractors, sprayers and vertical tillage implements and drives an old chevy pickup wears old clothes and lives in an average house. All good.

Right in the middle of taking off hay right now, then I'll be into corn and beans. Did the wheat a month or more ago. Wheat fields are chiseled and ready for spring. Applied some lime as needed. Tough year for hay here, rain was spotty (corn suffered too) and hay is through the roof. I'm making everything I have to sell off. Hopefully it will offset the soon to be low yield corn and beans.

It's fun at times and work most times and yes, there is no money in farming, just a ,lot of expense and a ton of government regulations. I'm winding down slowly. No more new equipment purchases. getting time to get out and smell the dandelions.. Not getting any younger and at 70, I feel every bump.
 
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jerrieric

Feeling the Heat
Jul 7, 2008
342
Windham Me
Here in upstate, NY I bought Cubex for the first time and had them delivered to my house. So much easier than the previous 18 years of burning pellets wherein I picked up a ton at a time from my local dealer. I bought 5 tons at $269.99 a ton with a $30 dollar delivery charge.

The delivery charge was very cheap as the source (Sharp's Whole Foods in Belleville, NY) is about 45 minutes away. This will be my first winter burning Cubex brand since the first winter I had my house way back in 2001. When I moved in there were about 10 bags of slightly damp Northern brand pellets left by the previous owner. I'm told they are the same pellet as Cubex and only branded differently.

Anyway, I seem to recall that they burned nicely in the Lopi pellet stove that came with the house and so I'm hoping this years batch of Cubex are also of good quality. I can't say enough about the folks at Sharp's. They're great to work with and are super nice people...Check them out if you're in their general area as I believe they deliver to a pretty wide radius.
That's a good price I paid 350 for a metric ton free delivery. I decided to try the expensive stuff after about 10 years of burning the cheap stuff. I'll let you know if the Cubex expensive stuff is any better than the cheap stuff you buy at Home Depot. I'm going to give it a month or two before I report back cuz I want to have a review on when it's burning on low this time of year ann when it's burning on high in the next month or two