Possible Wood Pellet Shortage on the Horizon - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Possible Wood Pellet Shortage on the Horizon

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The rising cost of heating homes this winter has more people turning to wood pellet stoves to stay warm and save money.

But now the supply of wood pellets is dwindling.

The high price of propane has left many with no other option than using a wood pellet stove.

But with high demand, and low supply, many are concerned a shortage may be here before spring weather.

"It has been a challenging year to keep them in stock, really at least for probably the last month and a half, most of our deliveries have been delayed or canceled all together."

Northwoods Feed and Supply in Cadillac has wood pellets, but they say keeping it that way hasn't been easy.

"It has really been a struggle to maintain any kind of inventory and any of that stuff this year," explained manager Jerry Horvath.

and they're lucky they have this much in stock.

"The further north you go, the worse it is. North of Cadillac, there's towns apparently where you can't buy pellets anywhere. So it has been a tough winter to get them, it's been a tough winter to keep them in stock for very long."

Jerry says in the past two years, a number of sawmills have shut down. Therefore, there are fewer places producing the pellets, while more people are trying to buy them.

"They just can't get enough product to make them," said Jerry, "They make them as fast as they can as they get materials in, but the materials just aren't coming in quick enough."

The possibility of running out of wood pellets isn't out of the question, especially if old man winter continues to linger.

"It's definitely possible. So far we've been able to keep them mostly in stock but you never know what's going to happen."

Jerry says even the larger chain stores are having a difficult time keeping an adequate wood pellet supply.

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