Springtime in the Land of 10,000 Lakes

As this story was being written, April half-over, it was snowing and the northern parts of Minnesota  awakened to low temperatures near zero degrees Fahrenheit. So far, 2018 has given our state all white and little green. That’s just springtime in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” Minnesota is a place where you get to experience all four seasons. Sure, we like to joke about having only two‒winter and road construction‒it gives us something to talk about. But next time you’re making a thing of the weather and whining about wearing a winter parka in April, remember all of those jobs in which weather is truly a big deal.

At present, 24,000 Minnesota farmers are staring out at cold (in places, still snow-covered) fields and wondering when they'll be able to plant their 2018 crop. If they grow corn and have federal crop insurance, the first date they could have planted was April 11. But no farmers attempted to plant yet this spring as soil temperatures are far too low.

A lot of jobs are 'in-tune' to old Mother Earth’s annual trip around the sun. Construction workers, foresters, mail carriers, utility workers, and even those who produce, deliver and market motor fuels must keep close tabs on and work around the calendar. Most drivers would be surprised to learn the fuels we buy change significantly as the seasons change. All gasolines, diesel fuels, and even E85-flex fuels have blending specifications based, in part, on geographic location and the time of year. This blending is done to ensure proper starting and engine performance as well as reduce air pollution.

Fuel specifications are a key reason experts advise us not to use old, out-of-season gasoline for small engines, like lawnmowers, outboards, and chainsaws. As for air quality, summertime fuels have lower volatility (meaning they evaporate less) in order to reduce smog-forming evaporative emissions. Winter specs call for higher volatility to ensure dependable cold weather starting and operations. And like a carton of milk kept in the refrigerator too long, cans of stored gasoline in your garage will ‘degrade’ over time.

The people who produce and deliver motor fuels to nearly 3,000 Minnesota gas stations must follow strict federal and state standards to ensure what we buy is the best-performing and as environmentally friendly as possible, regardless of the temperature, conditions, or season. So, rest assured warmer weather is on the horizon. While we wait, let’s give a shout out to those folks on whom we all depend.

Popular posts from this blog

With More Choices At The Pump, Everyone Is A Winner

Meet These Business Owners on National Mom & Pop Business Owner's Day

More Alcohol from Corn - More Al-Corn Clean Fuel